While Lewis Hamilton took home the most prestigious trophy in motorsport after the FIA Awards evening, for winning his sixth Formula 1 World Championship title, there were numerous big names who also stepped up to receive Awards for their achievements in Paris on Friday.
The winners of the other categories, bar Formula 1, were awarded with new-for-2019 trophies, designed by renowned American painter, sculptor and printmaker Frank Stella.
In rallying, Ott Tänak and his co-driver Martin Järveoja have put Estonia on the map, ending French domination in the sport’s top category – the FIA World Rally Championship – that had lasted since 2003.
Tänak said: “When you’ve been targeting something like this for a long, long time, and then you actually achieve it, you feel a kind of relief. In the beginning, it was a dream, and for the last couple of years we’ve been close, but for different reasons, we’ve not managed to be the winners. Now that we’ve finally done it, it feels like I’ve lost a weight from my shoulders.
“It’s not been the easiest journey, I’ve been quite literally through the water and fire, but to achieve the title after all these battles, it tastes even better.” On the manufacturers’ side, Hyundai Motorsport finally clinched the crown, having finished second in the two previous seasons.
In what was the FIA World Endurance Championship’s first Super Season held across two calendar years, 2018 – 2019, Toyota won both the Driver and Team competitions. Endurance racing rookie Fernando Alonso teamed up with sports cars stalwarts Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima to win five out of eight races, including not one but two editions of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“I remember every lap of this championship, which was strange as it lasted one year and a half!” said Alonso. “In 2018 I was combining two World Championships – F1 and Endurance – which was very intense, but I loved the experience. Every World Championship is unique, and it’s nice to sit here as World Champion again.
“My first Prize Giving was in 1996 when I came with an FIA Karting World Championship, and now 23 years later, I’m sitting here with the FIA World Endurance Championship. It’s been a long career but, as long as you love what you do and you are performing at your best level, it doesn’t matter which category you are here for.
“The spirit and atmosphere you find in endurance racing is quite special – the friendship you have with your team-mates in both cars – all this is unique and you can’t compare with the experiences I had before.”
The series’ LM GTE category also provided fans with a wealth of excitement during the Super Season, stemming from a healthy grid replete with dozens of entries. Winners of the LM GTE drivers’ championship were Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen of Porsche, who claimed their crown with victories at Le Mans and in Fuji.
New team and driver entrants, and the increasingly competitive field, made for a far from an easy ride in the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E season. That didn’t stop Jean-Eric Vergne from taking three race victories, winning the championship and becoming the first back-to-back title-winner in the history of the championship.
Together with teammate André Lotterer, Vergne helped the DS Techeetah outfit to clinch their maiden victory in the Teams’ Championship in a giant-killing fashion.
“I’m really pleased to have done it again,” said the Frenchman. “It wasn’t an easy season, but here we are – I would say, in a way this championship was harder than the first, because I think there were four races in a row where I didn’t score any points, with no-one around me believing that I could do it, and I even lost belief in myself.
“But that’s really what I’ve learned from this season is to never lose hope and to find the strength inside you to turn things around. Now that Formula E will become an FIA World Championship from season seven, I will have to come back to the prize giving then so I can be a World Champion!”
In what has been the closest season in the World Rallycross Championship’s history, the drivers’ title fight came down to a gripping finale after which Sweden’s Timmy Hansen was crowned World Champion.
“I had the perfect ending to an incredible season,” said Hansen. “The feeling of winning the title is actually quite different to what I’d dreamed of – I was extremely focused on my own job but looking at it now it was a crazy finale to the season and you couldn’t have written it better if it was a movie!
“I’m really proud of the top parts of my season, but I’m also really motivated to work on the parts where I can improve. I feel really blessed to have achieved this as a family – it’s as important as the title to me.”
The winning drivers, co-drivers and teams from the FIA Rally Championships were also awarded for their incredible achievements in some of the toughest and most varied conditions on tarmac, gravel or in the desert dunes across all the continents.
New to the family this year was the FIA Motorsport Games, an interdisciplinary event with a national focus in which drivers represent their countries, fighting for medals that contribute to overall medal standings determining the winning National Sporting Authority.
On this occasion, it was Russia, with a gold medal in the Touring Car Cup won by Klim Gavrilov, two bronzes in the Karting Slalom Cup won by Olesya Vashchuk and Vladislav Bushuev, and the Drifting Cup won by Ilia Federov.
Individual medals were also awarded at the event, with Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Ukyo Sasahara winning in the GT Cup, Andrea Rosso winning the Formula 4 Cup, and Nina Pothof and Bastiaan van Loenen taking top honours in the Karting Slalom Cup. Dmitry Illyuk was awarded the Drifting Cup gold. Finally, Cody Nikola Latkovski won gold in the Digital Cup.
The FIA’s stars of the future were also honoured in Paris, with champions from across the motor sport spectrum collecting their trophies.
Nyck de Vries was crowned FIA Formula 2 champion following a dominant campaign and takes his success into Formula E for the next racing season. In the new-look FIA Formula 3 Championship, Robert Shwartzman followed in the footsteps of his former and future teammate, Mick Schumacher, and emerged victorious.
FIA Karting World Champions Marijn Kremers, Lorenzo Travisanutto, and Thomas Ten Brinke were also awarded their trophies.
A number of special FIA awards were also handed out. First, the FIA Special Award was given to Violetta Bulc for her commitment to her role of European Commissioner for Transport, and her ongoing work to improve road safety and mobility for all users.
The Rookie of the Year prize, voted for by members of the FIA Drivers’ Commission, was won by F1 driver Alexander Albon, who started the season with Scuderia Toro Rosso before impressing on his promotion to Red Bull Racing. The Thai finished eighth in the drivers’ standings in his debut season, following an impressive performance at almost every race.
The Personality of the Year award, voted for by permanently accredited media from the FIA’s major championship, was awarded posthumously to Niki Lauda, the three-time F1 world champion and executive director of the Mercedes F1 team.
The Action of the Year prize, voted for by fans of motor sport via the FIA’s online channels, was presented to F1 start Max Verstappen, who was honoured for his spectacular battle with Charles Leclerc during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The pair raced wheel to wheel, with Leclerc edging Verstappen wide before the Dutch racer came back at him and overtook on the following corner.
The final applause of the year was, of course, fittingly reserved for F1 World Champion Hamilton, and with the curtain brought down on another sensational season, preparations are already well underway for what will surely be another great year for motorsport in 2020.
2019 FIA Prize Winners
FIA Formula 1 World Championship for Drivers 2019: Lewis Hamilton
FIA Formula 1 World Championship for Manufacturer 2019: Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
FIA Formula 1 Rookie of the Year: Alex Albon (Red Bull)
FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers 2019: Ott Tänak
FIA World Rally Championship for Co-Drivers 2019: Martin Järveoja
LMP FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion 2019: Fernando Alonso & Sébastien Buemi & Kazuki Najakima
LMP1 FIA World Endurance Champion 2019: Toyota Gazoo Racing
LMGTE FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion 2019: Kevin Estre & Michael Christensen
LMGTE FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Champion 2019: Porsche
FIA World Rallycross Championship for Drivers 2019: Timmy Hansen
FIA World Rallycross Championship for Team 2019: Team HANSEN MJP
FIA Karting World Championship – OK for Drivers 2019: Lorenzo Travisanutto
FIA Karting World Championship – Junior for Drivers 2019: Thomas Ten Brinke
FIA Karting World Championship – KZ for Drivers 2019: Marijn Kremers
ABB FIA Formula E Championship for Drivers 2018 – 2019: Jean-Eric Vergne
ABB FIA Formula E Championship for Teams – 2019: DS Techeetah
FIA Formula 2 Championship for Drivers 2019: Nyck de Vries
FIA Formula 2 Championship for Teams 2019: To be announced
FIA Formula 3 Championship for Drivers 2019: Robert Shwartzman
FIA Formula 3 Championship for Teams 2019: PREMA Racing
Formula Regional European Championship Certified by FIA:
Formula Regional European Championship for Drivers 2019: Frederik Vesti
Formula 3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA:
Formula Regional Asian Championship for Drivers 2019: Ukyo Sasahara
Formula 3 American Championship Certified by FIA:
Formula Regional American Championship for Drivers 2019: Dakota Dickerson
National Formula 4 Championships:
Formula 4 Australian Championship for Drivers 2019: Luis Leeds
Formula 4 British Championship for Drivers 2019: Zane Maloney
Formula 4 Chinese Championship for Drivers 2019: Conrad Clark
Formula 4 French Championship for Drivers 2019: Hadrien David
Formula 4 German Championship for Drivers 2019: Théo Pourchaire
Formula 4 Italian Championship for Drivers 2019: Dennis Hauger
Formula 4 Japanese Championship for Drivers 2019: Ren Sato
Formula 4 NACAM Championship for Drivers 2019: Manuel Sulaiman
Formula 4 South East Asia Championship for Drivers 2019: To be announced
Formula 4 Spanish Championship for Drivers 2019: Franco Colapinto
Formula 4 UAE Championship for Drivers 2019: Matteo Nannini
Formula 4 United States Championship for Drivers 2019: Joshua Car
FIA European Truck Racing Championship for Drivers 2019: Jochen Hahn
FIA European Drag Racing Championship Category Top Fuel for Drivers 2019: Anita Mäkelä
FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship – Classes Head for Drivers 2019: Matteo Ferrer-Aza
FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship – Classes Lauda for Drivers 2019: Martin Stretton
FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship – Classes Fittipaldi for Drivers 2019: Henry Fletcher
FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship for Drivers Pre 1966 2019: Chris Jolly
FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship for Drivers Pre 1966 2019: Steve Farthing
FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship for Drivers Post 1966 2019: Jason Wright
FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship for Drivers Post 1966 2019: Andy Wolfe
FIA European Rally Championship for Drivers 2019: Chris Ingram
FIA European Rally Championship for Co-Drivers 2019: Ross Whittock
FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for Drivers 2019: Stéphane Peterhansel
FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for Co-Drivers 2019: Andrea Peterhansel
FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for Team 2019: Sven Quandt
FIA Middle-East Rally Championship for Drivers 2019: Nasser Al-Attiyah
FIA Middle-East Rally Championship for Co-Drivers 2019: Matthieu Baumel
FIA World Rally Championship Junior for Drivers 2019: Jan Solans
FIA World Rally Championship Junior for Co-Drivers 2019: Mauro Barreiro
FIA World Rally Championship 2 Pro for Drivers 2019: Kalle Rovanpera
FIA World Rally Championship 2 Pro for Co-Drivers 2019: Jonne Halttunen
FIA European Rally Trophy for Drivers 2019: Ondrej Bisaha
FIA European Rally Trophy for Co-Drivers 2019: Petr Tesinsky
FIA R-GT Cup Championship for Drivers 2019: Enrico Brazzoli
FIA R-GT Cup Championship for Co-Drivers 2019: Manuel Fenoli
FIA Motorsport Games ASN Winner 2019: Russian Automobile Federation
FIA Motorsport Games – Touring car cup winner 2019: Klim Gavrilov
FIA Motorsport Games – GT Cup Driver 2019: Hiroshi Hamaguchi
FIA Motorsport Games – GT Cup Co-Driver 2019: Ukyo Sasahara
FIA Motorsport Games – Formula 4 Cup 2019: Andrea Rosso
FIA Motorsport Games – Karting Slalom Cup – Driver 1 2019: Nina Pothof
FIA Motorsport Games – Karting Slalom Cup – Driver 2 2019: Bastiaan van Loenen
FIA Motorsport Games – Drifting Cup 2019: Dmitriy Illuyk
FIA Motorsport Games – Digital Cup 2019: Cody Nikola Latkovskii