Autosport Awards: Alonso and Verstappen go head to head, Red Bull dominate shortlists

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen lifts the trophy aloft after winning the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Max Verstappen is one of a number of Red Bull representatives up for an award at this year’s Autosport Awards.

After another record-breaking year, the Dutchman is nominated for the International Racing Driver of the Year award, the same category he won last year.

Red Bull meanwhile have other candidates in International Competition Car of the Year and Rookie of the Year for the awards ceremony held in London next month.

Red Bull set for award-filled night in London

Verstappen is one of four drivers nominated for the award alongside fellow F1 competitor Fernando Alonso, IndyCar champion Alex Palou and Formula E winner Jake Dennis.

The Red Bull driver stands a good chance of adding a third award to his trophy having so far won 16 of this year’s 18 races and already securing the world title.

Alonso meanwhile has yet not managed to win a race but his early season form with the surprise package of Aston Martin was a notable moment of the 2023 season.

The car that powered Verstappen to those 16 wins is also up for recognition with the RB19 among the nominees for International Competition Car of the Year.

The Red Bull design is the sole F1 representative in this category but faces tough competition from Ferrari’s 499P which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The other cars nominated are the Jaguar I-Type 6 and the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1.

Three F1 drivers feature in the British Competition Driver of the Year category with usual suspects Lando Norris, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton there again. Hamilton has won eight of the last 10 awards with Norris successful in 2020 and 2021.

Rookie of the Year is also dominated by F1 with Oscar Piastri, Logan Sargeant and Liam Lawson featuring. Despite Lawson’s impressive substitute appearances while Daniel Ricciardo recovered from a hand injury, Piastri’s two podiums and sprint victory make him the front runner. recommends

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Given their level of success this year, Red Bull can expect an enjoyable evening on December 3 with the awards held in London.

Verstappen’s victory in his nominated category looks likely with a Formula 1 driver having won the award every year since Nigel Mansell’s CART achievements earned him the nod in 1993.

Formula 1 cars have also enjoyed a dominant spell with the Bentley Speed 8 being the last non-F1 car to win in 2003. Although Ferrari’s Le Mans victory could provide a challenge to Adrian Newrey’s creation.

As for Rookie of the Year, Piastri could win it for the third time having been successful in 2020 and 2021. Zhou Gaunyu was the winner of that category last year.

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