Last weekend the FIA gave out awards for the 2015 Formula One World Championship. While Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes may have won the title, it was Max Verstappen who came out on top. The 18-year-old driver not only won the award for Rookie of the Year, but also for Personality of the Year, and for the best Action of the Year.

The latter was received for his daring passing maneuver in the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix. The Dutch driver daringly took the outside line around the high-speed Blanchimont corner of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, passing Sauber's Felipe Nasr for eleventh place at 200 miles per hour, running over the curbs with his foot seemingly pegged to the floor the whole way. The gutsy move helped the Toro Rosso driver advance from 15th place on the starting grid to an eighth-place points finish in the race.

It was the second time in a row that Verstappen won the award, having taken it home from last year's ceremony as well when he was still in Formula 3. This also marked the first time any individual has taken more than one of the non-championship-related awards in a single season, and ostensibly vindicates the controversial choice Toro Rosso made in promoting Verstappen to the race seat in the first place, despite his young age and relative lack of experience.

He became the youngest driver ever to compete in F1 when he started the Australian Grand Prix earlier this year at the tender age of 17, after which a new minimum-age rule was passed that will ensure the record will remain his for the foreseeable future. Verstappen impressively took two fourth-place finishes in this, his debut season, and has been retained for next season as well.

Similar controversy emerged when Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen started out in F1, and both have since gone on to win the world championship – three times now in the latter's case. Kimi is now the oldest driver on the grid at 36 years – or twice Verstappen's age – suggesting the young Dutchman has a long and promising career ahead of him, which we'll look forward to watching develop. Multiple world champions Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel both got their starts at the same team (the former when it was still known as Minardi), and we won't be at all surprised to watch Max follow in their footsteps. For now, though, you can check out the lauded and daring maneuver in the video below.
Show full PR text

Teenage motor racing sensation Max Verstappen concluded an incredible rookie season in the FIA Formula One World Championship by taking all three of the Federation's special vote-based awards at the 2015 FIA Prize-Giving in Paris

The Dutch racer took the Personality of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Action of the Year – the first time anyone has claimed more than one of the non-Championship related awards in the same season.

The FIA Personality of the Year award is handed out according to votes cast by accredited media from across the FIA's Championships. The first round of votes establishes a top 10, with the second round deciding the Personality of the Year. Verstappen's selection is even more impressive given the media have had just one season to get to know the Toro Rosso driver.

The Rookie of the Year award is decided by the FIA Drivers' Commission, presided over by two-time World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi. The Commission, made up of drivers with a combined 12 World Championships and 14 Le Mans victories, forms a supremely qualified judging panel for the selection of the most impressive first-year driver in an FIA Championship.

Finally, in the category voted for by motor sport fans from across the world, Verstappen won the Action of the Year award for his daring move around the outside of Sauber's Felipe Nasr at the fearsome Blanchimont corner during the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix.

The pass clearly impressed fans, with the online vote seeing Verstappen take the award over nine other nominations, and by a ratio of 10:1 votes over second place, the FIA European Rally Championship's Alexey Lukyanuk. It was actually the second consecutive Action of the Year win for Verstappen, who won the 2014 award while in Formula 3.

It was an unprecedented achievement for the 18-year-old racer, who took this year's FIA Formula One World Championship by storm.

"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 Verstappen.

"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!"

The FIA Prize-Giving celebrates the Champions of the FIA's various disciplines around the world, with this year's event being held at the famous Lido theatre on the Champs-Elysées.

Share This Photo X