Although Lewis Hamilton wrapped up the 2015 Drivers’ title in Austin, it wasn’t until Friday’s FIA gala that the Brit received his third Championship trophy.
Hamilton won the title by 59 points ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in a season where he claimed 11 pole positions, 10 race wins and finished all but two grands prix on the podium.
“It’s pretty much impossible to put into words what it means to be a three-time World Champion,” the 30-year-old told the official F1 website.
“It is a dream, it’s an incredible feeling and I’m very proud of my family for everything they did to get me here today. I remember how hard my Dad and my Mum worked to make sacrifices for me. It’s been a long, long journey – I’ve been racing for 22 years.
“This year, winning the race in Austin and sealing the championship there was one of the most special races – there’s a huge sense of pride in what I have achieved.”
Rosberg was also present on the night to receive his runners-up trophy while Mercedes were handed the Constructors’ crown for the second year running. The team achieved 16 race wins this year, 12 of which were 1-2 finishes.
One of the night’s big winners at the Lido theatre on the Champs-Elysees was rookie driver Max Verstappen.
He secured three prizes including Rookie of the Year, Personality of the Year and Action of the Year.
“I am amazed and very happy to have won three awards this evening at such an important event, and at the end of only my first year in Formula One,” said the Toro Rosso driver.
“It’s a great honour to win the Rookie of the Year award, as it’s voted for by the Drivers’ Commission and I have to say, getting two fourth place finishes in my first F1 season is more than I expected.
“Personality of the Year? I’m not sure why I won that, but it’s nice to know the media like me!”
As for his Action of the Year accolade, Verstappen clinched that in a fans’ vote for his pass on Felipe Nasr around the outside of Blanchimont.
He added: “It’s nice to win the Action of the Year for the second time, because I really enjoy overtaking on track.”