British FIA Champions honoured after unprecedented year
Five British FIA champions were among those honoured last night (18 December) in the first-ever virtual FIA Prize Giving ceremony, hosted by FIA President Jean Todt in Geneva.
The undoubted standout performer of the night was Lewis Hamilton, whose achievements on and off track yielded three awards. Hamilton ended the 2020 campaign with 95 grand prix victories after standing on the top step of the podium 11 times to collect the trophy as the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Champion.
In the Personality of the Year category, Hamilton was chosen by permanently accredited FIA media from a list of nominees, which included fellow Formula 1 stars, the outgoing CEO of Formula 1 Chase Carey, Mercedes-AMG Petronas CEO and Team Principal Toto Wolff, as well as WRC rally star Elfyn Evans. It was the third time Lewis has scooped the accolade.
Lewis also featured in one of three FIA President Awards. The award recognises outstanding achievement, courage and sportsmanship – often in the face of adversity. It also pays tribute to individuals who make an impact on motorsport – and those who contribute to a better world. Together with Michael Schumacher, the pair were jointly honoured in recognition of their shared achievement in winning seven FIA Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championships and the inspiration their sporting and personal commitments have brought to the world.
On reaching the landmark of seven world titles, Hamilton said: “It’s such a privilege to have the opportunity to reach the milestone. I didn’t think in my wildest dreams I would stand here as a seven-time World Champion.
The 2019-20 World Endurance Championship season featured eight events in all with the trio of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López taking the drivers’ championship, while securing the LMP1 manufacturers’ honours for Toyota Gazoo Racing. “With what’s been going on this year, it was really rewarding to finally wrap up the championship,” Conway said. “I’m looking forward to next year and the new Hypercar era.”
Luke Browning collected his prize after winning the F4 British Championship certified by FIA. On that victorious day back in mid-November, an emotional Luke said: “It’s incredible to win the British Formula 4 title, and I’m absolutely ecstatic. It’s been a challenging year, the level of competition has been superb, so to come out on top is very satisfying.”
In the FIA Karting World Championship, 19-year-old Callum Bradshaw was crowned OK world champion. Commenting after his title win last month he said: “It’s a pretty incredible feeling and one I can’t quite put into words.”
Freddie Slater, aged 12, who won the OK-Junior title, commented: “It is an amazing feeling to be next to all motorsport winners. The feeling of crossing first the finish line in the World Championship was the best moment of my life.”
“2020 has been an unprecedented year and it’s remarkable to be here and to be able to honour our champions,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “Unfortunately, they cannot be with us in person tonight, but the most important thing is that, through creativity and resourcefulness, we have been able to organize championships – and we have champions to celebrate. I would like to pay credit to all those who made it possible.”
Motorsport UK CEO, Hugh Chambers, said: “The FIA Prize Giving is always a very special occasion, and a fitting season finale at which to recognise outstanding performances on the world stage. My congratulations to Lewis Hamilton, Mike Conway, Luke Browning, Callum Bradshaw and Freddie Slater for their incredible achievements during 2020.”