December 7, 2015
Max Verstappen made a clean sweep of all the special awards on offer at the FIA Annual Prize Giving Gala in Paris last Friday night. The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver was in good company, with world champions from Formula 1 to the world of karting all attending on the night, as well as the FIA president Jean Todt and Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Our Dutch driver got plenty of exercise, being called up on stage no less than three times. The Drivers' Commission, headed up by the legendary Emerson Fittipaldi awarded him the coveted Rookie of the Year prize, which goes to the driver who most impressed the panel in a first year in an FIA Championship.
Who could forget Max's amazing and brave move around the outside of Felipe Nasr's Sauber at the fearsome Blanchimont corner in this year's Belgian Grand Prix? Clearly not all the fans who voted for it as "Action of the Year" on the FIA website. It was the second successive year that Max collects this prize, as he was the 2014 victor too, for a move in his Formula 3 days. The Belgian GP move also went down well with the followers of @F1 on Twitter, with 70% of them voting it the best move of the year.
And finally, the world's media had their say, voting Max Verstappen as the overall winner of the FIA Personality 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 1," said Max on the night. "It's nice to win the Action of the Year for the second time, because I really enjoy overtaking on track. 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!"
Max has had a series of late nights recently, because, on Sunday, it was time for another prize giving evening, this time in London and the famous Autosport Awards. Here too, he took the English magazine's prestigious Rookie of the Year Award.