2 December 2013
Vettel leads F1 winners at Awards
Sebastian Vettel was on good form as he accepted another award for his sterling 2013 F1 performance.
Four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel led a parade of grand prix talent picking up accolades at the annual Autosport Awards in London on Sunday night.
The German added another piece of silverware to his trophy cabinet, picking up the International Driver of the Year awards at the prestigious end-of-season gala event at London's Grosvenor House Hotel. He was presented with his trophy by motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, before again regaling an amused audience with tales from the paddock.
The Red Bull team which guided Vettel to his fourth world title, as well as claiming its own quartet in the constructors' competition, was honoured with Car of the Year for the RB9, while Lewis Hamilton (British Competition Driver of the Year) and Jules Bianchi (Rookie of the Year) also earned plaudits from the readers of Autosport magazine.
“It is a great honour to be presented with this award, especially as it was voted for by the readers of Autosport magazine themselves," Bianchi said, "I have enjoyed a fantastic debut season in F1 and will take away not only special memories, but also many lessons which I know will help myself and the Team to improve in the future. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me and my thanks also to all those who have supported me in my first year of F1 competition, particularly the Marussia F1 Team and also the Ferrari Driver Academy.”
Marussia team boss John Booth wchoed the praise for his driver.
“Congratulations to Jules on winning this prestigious award at the end of what has been a very impressive debut season for him," the Briton noted, "As we know, Jules joined the Marussia F1 Team very late in our pre-season testing programme and, notwithstanding this lack of experience in the car, he went on to make a very positive start to his first season as a F1 race driver. It hasn't been entirely plain sailing, but in the end we all learned a great deal together and achieved our objective of tenth place in the constructors' championship, which is due in no small part to the skill and application of both of our drivers.”
The F1 trio were joined at the Awards by an amazing array of stars from the world of motor racing, including triple world champions Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda, double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and John Surtees, the only man to win world titles on two wheels and four. Surtees and Lauda were each rewarded with a Gregor Grant Award, while Fittipaldi presented McLaren with a John Bolster Award.
Newly crowned World Endurance champion Allan McNish and the 2013 World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier also helped to make it one of the most star-studded nights in the event's long history, culminating in the announcement that Formula Renault ace Matt Parry would receive an F1 test as part of his prize for winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.
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