F1 and pop stars truly thrilled crowds at Birmingham's NEC Arena last night with what proved to be one of the most hotly contested battles on the Formula One calendar - the F1 Awards at the 2003 Grand Prix Party.

The F1 stars put aside their traditional straight public personas and joined in the entertainment with The Cheeky Girls, Beverley Knight, Mis-Teeq, Paul Carrack and Busted.

Scottish driving ace David Coulthard may have left empty-handed in the award stakes but his standing ovation proved his might as the man of the people at the star-studded gathering.

Michael Schumacher was favourite among the judges, who named him 'Best Driver of 2002', an award accepted by his arch rival Damon Hill who said: "I finally got something that Michael won", referring to the many duels they had on track. However, for the drivers themselves it was Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella who took top honours in the inaugural 'Driver's Driver' category.

Other popular results saw Mark Webber, now with Jaguar, accept 'Best Newcomer' from Nigel Mansell and 2003 rookie Justin Wilson, who has taken his seat at Minardi.

Race Director Charlie Whiting collected the gong for 'Outstanding Contribution in 2002' from former commentary legend Murray Walker whilst Coulthard presented his McLaren Team Boss Ron Dennis with the coveted 'Lifetime Achievement Award'.

Giving unprecedented support for the third annual event, no less than seven of the 2003 driver line-up took time out from their hectic pre-season schedules to enjoy the rock meets F1 extravaganza in aid of the Brain and Spine Foundation.

The 6,500 sell out crowd were also treated to a wealth of F1 favourites past and present including the ever popular 1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell, Martin Brundle, Derek Warwick and team bosses Eddie Jordan and Ove Andersson [Toyota].