Lauda among award winners at FIA Prize Gala

Date published: December 7 2019

Lewis Hamilton says he still looks back through old messages between himself and Niki Lauda.

The late Niki Lauda was honoured with the Personality of the Year Award at the FIA’s end-of-season awards in Paris.

Lauda, a former three time World Champion, acted as Mercedes’ non executive chairman through their dominant run in F1 before he sadly passed away in May of this year.

His death understandably hit Mercedes hard, but they went on this season to secure a sixth consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ double, while Lauda’s legacy was honoured further when he was awarded the Personality of the Year Award via the votes of FIA accredited media.

Lewis Hamilton was presented with the World Championship trophy for a sixth time, while Max Verstappen’s thrilling battle with Charles Leclerc at the British Grand Prix saw him win the ‘Action of the Year’ Award as voted for by fans.

“This was only one move from that race, but we had a lot of fights. It was cool,” Verstappen said when reflecting on the battle which at one point saw the Dutchman edged wide at Club before regaining the position around the outside.

“A bit of off track, a bit of wheel-banging, which I think is quite cool and normally it doesn’t really happen in F1.”

For a record fifth year running, the Mexican Grand Prix was given the Promoters’ Award for their promotion and marketing of the event.

F1 CEO Chase Carey said: “This year, the organisers outdid themselves with an amazing prize giving, when Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes was lifted up to join him on the actual podium.”

It was also a proud moment for Red Bull’s Alex Albon who was voted Rookie of the Year by the FIA Drivers’ Commission.

Albon received the late call to join Toro Rosso for the 2019 season, before being promoted to race at Red Bull alongisde Max Verstappen over the summer break.

“It’s been something I could never imagine. Getting the call from Toro Rosso was a dream come true,” said the Anglo-Thai driver.

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