Oscar Piastri, who won the FIA Formula 3 Championship at the first attempt in 2020, has received the Sir Jack Brabham Award.
The 19-year-old Australian was a model of consistency in F3 last year, winning two races, including the season-opener at the Red Bull Ring, and finishing in the top eight 15 times out of 18 to take the title by three points from Theo Pourchaire.
Piastri, from Melbourne, went on to get his first taste of Formula 1 machinery in a private test of the 2018 Renault car in Bahrain, where he was joined by Fernando Alonso and F2 drivers Christian Lundgaard and Guanyu Zhou.
Motorsport Australia have recognised Piastri’s emergence as a rising star with the award that has previously been won by drivers including Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo.
“To win this award is a massive honour. Not just because of the award in general, but also having Sir Jack’s name attached to it. It’s very special,” said Piastri, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“Knowing everything he has achieved in the sport, such as his three World Championships and running his own successful team, it means a lot.
“It’s also very cool to have my name amongst the previous winners. To be recognised in that calibre of drivers and amongst those names is very special.
“Winning the award is one of those things where it’s a real honour to have it on your CV. It’s cool to get the award and it will only bring good things for my career.
“It’s nice to have my hard work and success from F3 recognised, so a big thank you to Motorsport Australia for giving me this honour.”
In 2021, Piastri, a Renault Sport Academy driver, will step up to Formula 2 where he has big shoes to fill in the Prema team – replacing F1-bound Mick Schumacher alongside one of the title favourites, Robert Shwartzman.
Motorsport Australia president Andrew Fraser added: “After a such a strong season, Oscar is a very worthy recipient of the prestigious Sir Jack Brabham Award.
“Oscar was a shining light in 2020 and we all know he has a bright future ahead of him, and this award is proof of the high regard in which he is already held here in Australia.
“I wish him all the best for his maiden season in the FIA Formula 2 Championship and look forward to watching on from afar, along with the rest of Australia who will be cheering him on in 2021.”