As per tradition, the 2017 Autosport Awards took place at Grosvenor House on the first Sunday of December after an enthralling Formula One season. As the champion Lewis Hamilton was front and centre in the end of the year awards that brought together many of the world’s top motorsport categories.
Hamilton picked up two awards throughout the evening, with the most prominent being the International Driver of the Year, often regarded as one of the highest accolades in Motorsport. Despite a troubled start to his season, Hamilton proved his excellence by fighting back to claim his fourth world title with two rounds to spare.
“It’s been a long, long journey. I remember being at the Autosport [Awards] in 1995 for the first time … it’s great to see that it’s still doing wonderful things and still reporting great news to the world.
“I just wanted to congratulate all the nominees and all the other winners that are there this evening. Congratulations on your years. I hope you have an amazing Christmas coming up and I wish you all the best for 2018.
“Let’s keep raising the bar. Let’s keep pushing. It’s great to see England producing such great talent still.”
Hamilton also picked up the trophy for British Competition Driver of the Year in a year where he re-established himself as the number 1 in the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 Team.
The Mercedes team themselves were also rewarded as Hamilton’s title-winning Mercedes F1 W08 EQ Power+, machine was crowned Racing Car of the Year.
Elsewhere in the Formula One world, 2018 rookie Charles Leclerc was given Rookie of the Year after becoming the first debutante to win FIA Formula 2 (GP2) since Nico Hulkenberg in 2009. While three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet was given the Gregor Grant Award for Lifetime Achievement in Motorsport.
Piquet was grateful for the high regard, stating; “The time I had in motor racing was fantastic. To learn and work with a team was the most important.
“There is something that I want to say to everyone who is participating in motorsport. Racing taught me so many things in life, to be more responsible, to be on time and all of the things have made me successful outside of motor racing also.”
Derek Warwick was also awarded the same prize after stepping down as BRDC Chairman this year.