Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the Autosport 2021 International Racing Driver of the Year Award, the Dutchman thanking Red Bull and Honda for his title-winning RB16B.
Verstappen clinched the 2021 F1 Drivers’ Championship with a last-lap pass on Hamilton at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Dutchman wrapped up the title with 10 wins in a season in which he was only outside the top two on four occasions, three of those being retirements.
It was an impressive season from both the driver and Red Bull with Verstappen thanking his team and Honda for giving him a car that could fight for the title.
He was awarded the Autosport International Racing Driver of the Year Award on Sunday evening, but wasn’t on hand to receive the trophy.
Instead he sent a video message, saying: “First of all, I would like to say a big thank for you to all the fans for voting for me to win this award. All the support over the year was amazing.
“I would like to thank Red Bull and Honda for giving me the car to win the World Championship.”
Max Verstappen is your 2021 International Racing Driver of the Year! 🏆
— Autosport (@autosport) February 6, 2022
His team boss Christian Horner feels the honour was well deserved.
“Obviously he has developed and matured over the last few years,” he told Autosport. “The way he drove last year was outstanding and to go up against Lewis Hamilton who was at the top of his game.
“Max led more laps than any other driver and won more races, he thoroughly deserves this award.”
Red Bull’s RB16B was named the 2021 International Racing Car of the Year.
Verstappen wasn’t the only F1 driver honoured on the night with Lando Norris winning the Autosport 2021 British Competition Driver of the Year Award.
The McLaren driver was P6 in the Drivers’ Championship with four podiums and a maiden pole position.
“In a way this is more important than winning the Formula 1 World Championship as this is voted for by the fans,” said Norris.
“Hopefully this season is even better at McLaren.”
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