Some of the biggest stars in British and International motorsport were handed accolades during the 2016 Autosport Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London this evening (4th December).
The evening began with a standing ovation for the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg, who would go on to win the International Racing Driver of the Year award, while the Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid that took him to the title was named Racing Car of the Year.
“First of all I need to say I came here for the first time 15 years ago. This is the most prestigious night of the year,” said Rosberg.
“When I walked down the stairs in front of everyone it was amazing – I definitely don’t take this for granted. It wasn’t an easy one and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it, but here I am.”
The man hotly tipped to replace Rosberg at Mercedes next season, Pascal Wehrlein, won the Rookie of the Year award, while Lewis Hamilton didn’t leave empty-handed after taking the British Competition Driver honours for the fifth time in his career.
The rallying awards was a clean sweep for Sebastian Ogier and Volkswagen once again, with the former securing his fourth consecutive Rally Driver of the Year award, while the VW Polo R WRC was named Rally Car of the Year for a third and final time.
The big winner in the national motorsport ranks was Lando Norris, who was crowned the 28th victor of the coveted McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, earning himself a prize package including a Formula 1 test and a simulator contract with McLaren.
Norris also won the British Club Driver award in recognition of his three championship titles in 2016, whilst the National Driver honours went to reigning BTCC champion Gordon Shedden for the third time, adding to his previous wins in 2012 and 2015.
The inaugural Rider of the Year award went to three-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez, while the John Bolster award for technical excellence went to Paddy Lowe in recognition of his F1 world titles with Williams, McLaren and Mercedes over the past 25 years.
1992 F1 World Champion and 1993 IndyCar champion Nigel Mansell was awarded the Gregor Grant award, whilst Felipe Massa and Mark Webber were also presented with special awards in recognition of their contribution to the sport.
The Pioneering and Innovation award went to quadruple amputee Frederic Sausset, who completed the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, while Imperial College student Sam O’Neill was named the second winner of the Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future award.
Video clips from throughout the ceremony can be found at www.twitter.com/autosport.