2012 Formula 1 World Champions Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull Racing team have each earned prestigious nominations at the annual Laureus Sports Awards.
Vettel, who claimed his third successive Drivers’ Championship title at last month’s Brazilian Grand Prix, has been nominated for the ‘Laureus World Sportsman of the Year’.
The German will compete against Olympic Gold medalists Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Michael Phelps and Bradley Wiggins, along with FC Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi, for the award.
The award has twice been won by Michael Schumacher, who picked up the honours in 2002 and 2004.
Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing will compete for the ‘Team of the Year’ award after winning their third successive Constructors’ Championship crown. Their award rivals include the Chinese Olympic table tennis team, the Spanish national football team, the US basketball ‘Dream Team’, the Miami Heat NBA basketball team and the European Ryder Cup golf team.
|Red Bull Racing and Alex Zanardi have both received Laureus Award nominations|
Former Grand Prix racer Alessandro Zanardi has also picked up a nomination for the ‘Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability’ award. The Italian – who suffered a double amputation of his legs in a shocking CART accident in 2001 – won three medals in hand cycling at the London Paralympic Games. Zanardi won Laureus’ ‘Comeback of the Year’ award in 2005 after a successful return to motorsport in a modified BMW touring car.
Considered as the Academy Awards of the sporting world, the awards cover the previous calendar year’s sporting achievements from around the world. Former F1 World Champions Emerson Fittipaldi and Mika Häkkinen both serve as members of the 47-strong voting panel.
Formula 1 has been a regular nominee and winner in other Laureus Awards categories. Juan Pablo Montoya, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have each picked up the ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ award in 2002, 2008 and 2010 respectively, while the Renault and Brawn GP team claimed the ‘Team of the Year’ trophies in 2006 and 2010, respectively.
The awards for the 2012 calendar year will be held on March 11 at Rio de Janeiro, just three days before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix gets underway in Melbourne.