Lewis Hamilton has been named International Racing Driver of the Year at this year’s Autosport Awards – for the second year running.
Last time around he was left with a well-stocked trophy cabinet after collecting a hat-trick of silverware including Rookie of the Year and British Competition Driver of the Year in addition to the prestigious international title.
And this year, as he collected the latest item, he told how he was proud of the journey he had made – a journey that started 10 years ago when he approached McLaren boss Ron Dennis at this very awards ceremony.
Hamilton, the youngest-ever F1 world champion, was presented with his award by his predecessor at McLaren, Mika Hakkinen, who took the title in 1998 and 1999.
He said: “It’s kind of overwhelming. To receive an award, any award, is always a major privilege, and holding this one, it reminds me of all the times I’ve been to the Autosport Awards before, even my first time.
“To see what a journey it’s been and see the number of people that have made it possible for me, makes me very proud.”
And, for the second year running, his McLaren car won an award of its own – as racing car of the year.
The driver has also been honoured with a Gold Star in the 2008 BRDC Awards, which he received from Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The prize is handed out annually to the organisation’s most successful member racing internationally.
Other drivers to be honoured at the ceremony, held in London on Monday, included Alexander Sims, Jason Plato, David Coulthard, Oliver Turvey, Allan McNish and Bradley Ellis.
Sir Frank Williams received the Colin Chapman Trophy honouring outstanding team spirit while McLaren team principal Ron Dennis was presented with a BRDC Gold Medal – only the ninth such medal to be presented by the Club since the award’s inception in 1996.
Just in case that wasn’t enough, Hamilton has also been handed the Seagrave Trophy by the Royal Automobile club.
The trophy is named in honour of the world land and water speed record holder Sir Henry Segrave, a fighter pilot during World War One, and the first British driver to win a grand prix in a British car. He set three land speed records and became the first person to travel at more than 200mph.
It is given annually to a British subject for outstanding achievements in transport on land, water or in the air and it was presented to Hamilton by Sir Stirling Moss.
Autosport awards: who won what:
For a full list of award winners, click here.
BRDC awards: who won what:
For a full list of BRDC award winners, click here.