Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes F1 team were officially crowned as drivers’ and constructors’ champions at the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony, hosted in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Accompanied by some of the best and brightest in motor sport, the Grand Hall of the historic St Petersburg Philharmonia was the location for the end-of-year gala, an event which recognises all the winning drivers, teams and special contributions to the world of motor racing. For the first time ever, the event was also broadcast live on Facebook.
Following a stellar eleven-win season for Lewis Hamilton, he was officially handed the trophy for his fifth drivers’ crown, equalling the feat of Juan-Manuel Fangio, whilst the Mercedes Formula One team, received their fifth consecutive constructors’ championship trophy, handed to team principal Toto Wolff.
The grand ceremony was also attended by Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who received the awards for finishing second and third in the drivers’ championship, with the latter appearing to really enjoy himself at what could be his final FIA awards gala before his switch to Sauber next year.
For the second year in a row, Charles Leclerc was given the award for Rookie of the Year for his impressive season at Sauber, a performance which has earned him a promotion to Ferrari for 2019.
Collecting his second award of the night, Lewis Hamilton was also given the Personality of the Year award, as voted for by the permanently accredited media.
There was another award for the Mercedes team, too, who collected the annual Presidents’ Award in recognition for Mercedes being only the second team to win five successive titles.
Toto Wolff was on hand to collect the award, whilst Non-Executive Director Niki Lauda was unable to attend due to his continuing recovery from major surgery.
Mercedes-backed George Russell was crowned as the 2018 Formula Two champion, a campaign which earned him his first Formula One drive at Williams for next season.
In other racing series, Sébastien Ogier and Co-Driver Julien Ingrassia took the awards for securing their sixth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship title, winning the title with Ford-backed privateer M-Sport.
Jean-Eric Vergne was crowned as the Formula E champion, with Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler taking the teams’ title, whilst Johan Kristoffersson took top honours in this year’s Rallycross Championship and Mick Schumacher was recognised as the Formula Three champion.
By: Luke Murphy
All images: FIA