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FIA officially crowns championship winners.

The FIA have officially crowned its Formula One, World Rally and World Touring Car Champions among others during the FIA Gala Awards in a ceremony at the Monaco Sporting Club.

Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Loeb and Andy Priaulx were all rewarded for their glory this season, along with winners from other FIA championships, including karting and truck racing.

It was a particularly emotional ceremony for Alonso as it officially signalled an end to his ties with the Renault team that took him to two world titles in 2005 and 2006. Nonetheless, despite severing ties with the French team, the Spaniard continued to reiterate how much he is looking forward to his new challenge at McLaren.

“This is my last official event with Renault and after a fantastic relationship now is the perfect point to finish, being World Champion again in both constructors' and drivers' championships. I feel very happy with my career with Renault and now I start a new challenge.”

Alonso was joined on stage by Renault team boss Flavio Briatore, who received the trophy for winning the constructors' championship.

“This is the best. I am pleased for Renault, I'm pleased for the team and especially for the sport because it was good to see a very intense fight with Ferrari. It was a great season.”

Loeb meanwhile, together with co-driver Daniel Elena, was also awarded for his third straight title with Citroen, despite having missed the final four events of the season when he broke his leg.

“To win the title is always a very nice moment for me, my co-driver and all the team. There was a lot of pressure before I won the championship but now it will stay a very good memory and hopefully I will win a few more in the future.”

It is also the third time in a row Priaulx has been awarded for his achievements, having secured a second World title this year to go with his European title from 2004.

“It's lovely to be back. To win two in a row is very special but in fact it is three in a row with the European Touring Car title as well. I'm enjoying this very much. It does get harder because everybody is after you and I think this year is a vintage year with so many drivers up for the title going into the last race.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
22.10.2006 Sao Paulo, Brazil, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Renault F1 Team - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sunday Podium
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Andy Priaulx (GBR),Yvan Muller (FRA) and Jorg Muller (GER) Macau Grand Prix, Macau, 15th-18th November 2006.
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