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HAMILTON HONOURED: 2018 Formula 1 champion scoops Autosport Award on ‘the biggest night in motorsport’

LEWIS HAMILTON, Nelson Piquet, Sebastien Ogier, Marc Márquez, Charles Leclerc and Derek Warwick were among the big winners in the Auto- sport Awards last weekend.

Held on the first Sunday of December, the week after the last F1 Grand Prix of the year, the Autosport Awards brings the season to a close, celebrating and recognising outstanding achievement across the racing world.

Often referred to as ‘the biggest night in motorsport’, the 2017 Awards proved to be an international star-studded and glamorous occasion with guests including Damon Hill, Robert Kubica, Freddie Spencer, Gil de Ferran, John McGuiness, Chase Carey, Susie Wolff and the most successful sailor in Olympic history, Sir Ben Ainslie.

For the first time, the Awards were presented by Lee McKenzie and David Coulthard and covered 14 categories spanning club racing to World Rally Championship, MotoGP and Formula 1, the majority of categories voted by fans. And viewers were able to watch the Awards on a live global broadcast on Motorsport.tv, Autosport.com and Motorsport.com.

SURPASSING

Hamilton received two accolades for both the International Racing Driver of the Year and the British Competition Driver of the Year. Hamilton won his fourth F1 World Championship this season, surpassing his idol, and previous Autosport Award winner, Ayrton Senna’s record of 65 career pole positions in the process.

AWARDS

Hamilton, who first attend- ed the Awards at 10 years old, thanked Autosport and the motorsport fans who voted for him to win both awards.

“It’s been a long, long journey. I remember being at the Autosport [Awards] in 1995 for the first time ... it’s great to see that it’s still doing wonderful things and still report- ing great news to the world.

“I just wanted to congratu- late all the nominees and all the other winners that are there this evening. Congratulations on your years. I hope you have an amazing Christmas coming up and I wish you all the best for 2018.

“Let’s keep raising the bar. Let’s keep pushing. It’s great to see England producing such great talent still.”
Three-time F1 World Champion Nelson Piquet was honoured with the Gregor Grant Award for Lifetime Achievement in Motorsport.

Nelson, said: “Firstly I would like to say thanks to Autosport for bringing me here after many years and also I want to thank all the racing teams that gave me the chance to drive. Most importantly, I want to say thank you to those who worked with me for many years.

IMPORTANT

“The time I had in motor racing was fantastic. To learn and work with a team was the most important. There is something that I want to say to everyone who is participating in motorsport. Racing taught me so many things in life, to be more responsible, to be on time and all of the things have made me successful outside of motor racing also.”

DIFFICULT

Speaking about his sons racing, Nelson said: “It’s much easier to race, than to see your son racing. For me, with racing, even with all the problems winning and losing is easy, but to watch the boys is very difficult.”
Derek Warwick, who stepped down as President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club this year, also received the Gregor Grant Award, joining previous winners including Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss, Alain Prost and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Five-time consecutive WRC champion, Sebastien Ogier claimed International Rally Driver of the Year while his Ford Fiesta WRC machine won the title of Rally Car of the Year.

Speaking about winning the title with an independent team, Ogier said: “This title is definitely very special. Every- one is very proud as it is not often you can achieve this in motorsport. There is so much passion in the team and everyone has worked very hard to achieve the Championship, so I am definitely enjoying this moment here tonight and receiving this award. This year means a lot for me. Even if it was the fifth title, this one was a bit different.”

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