Valtteri Bottas was presented with the Bandini Trophy last weekend, an award given annually to a driver recognised for a breakthrough performance in 2017, a year that he took his maiden victories and pole positions in Formula 1.
The Finn became the twenty-fifth recipient of the trophy, named in honour of Lorenzo Bandini, who sadly lost his life at the age of just thirty-one in a crash during the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix after winning both in Formula 1 and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in his tragically short career.
Bottas was adjudged by a panel of twelve individuals, including Giancarlo Minardi, founder of the Minardi Formula One Team, and Cesare Fiorio, who was sporting director of Scuderia Ferrari, Equipe Ligier and Minardi during his time in the sport, to have had a strong breakthrough season last year, his first with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team, and he was handed the trophy by Margherita Freddi, Bandini’s wife, in a ceremony in the Italian town of Brisighella.
“This is a big honour,” said Bottas. “I saw the list of drivers who received the Bandini Trophy before. There are some really impressive names on that list – just think of the total amount of championships these people have won! So I feel very honoured to now be a Bandini winner myself.
“I had some good moments last year and it’s nice to be recognised for those. Driving the 2016 car on the roads just added to the excitement of this great day.”