Hamilton and Verstappen take trophies at FIA Prize-Giving

2015 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton received the Formula One drivers’ championship trophy for the third time at the FIA Gala in Paris yesterday night.

“It’s pretty much impossible to put into words what it means to be a three-time world champion,” said Hamilton. “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.”

However Max Verstappen collected three accolades at the end-of-season prize-giving.

The Toro Rosso driver received awards for Rookie of the Year, Personality of the Year and Action of the Year. The latter, awarded for his overtaking move on Felipe Nasr during the Belgian Grand Prix, was chosen from ten highlights of different FIA championships throughout the 2015 season.

Bernie Ecclestone gave Formula One Management’s Best Promoter Award to Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento for their work on the Mexican Grand Prix, which was attended by over 130,000 fans on race day.

2015 FIA Gala pictures

2015 F1 season

Browse all 2015 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

65 comments on “Hamilton and Verstappen take trophies at FIA Prize-Giving”

  1. The Toro Rosso driver received awards for Rookie of the Year, Personality of the Year and Action of the Year. The latter, awarded for his overtaking move on Felipe Nasr during the Belgian Grand Prix, was chosen from ten highlights of different FIA championships throughout the 2015 season.

    Rookie of the year – 100%
    Personality of the year – Really? This 18 year old boy is personality of the year…?
    Action of the year – Overtake was set up by going wide in Blanchimont and then he overtook him in the busstop, to me he thus gained an advantage by going wide otherwise the move in the busstop would not even be possible. Kvyat got a penalty for doing pretty much the same in Hungary.

    1. And one of the competing moments/”actions” was the epic Audi vs Porsche duel at Silverstone in the WEC race that lasted lap after lap after lap after lap.

      1. Are you serious??? And Verstappen’s move one against THAT fight??

    2. Except he didn’t run wide with all four wheels…

      1. The video certainly makes it look like Verstappen had three wheels off the track by about half a metre. In fact you can see his right hand wheels weren’t even on the red and yellow painted area, they were passed that. Without knowing the widths of the car and the painted area, or where the left rear tyre tracks in relation to the front left we can’t be sure if all 4 wheels were off the track, but it would be surprising if only three were off the track. I thought the rule was you had to have at least two tyres on the track at all times (safety and such like considerations aside). It would have been nice to see the complete On Board Camera from Verstappen’s car.
        The problem now is lots of other racing car drivers will be want to argue that going off the track isn’t just okay because Verstappen did it, but will want to further justify it by saying that is how you are supposed to overtake.
        I don’t consider that a great overtaking maneuver because it looks to me like Nasr had two options: loose the place or collide with Verstappen, and for a team on a tight budget the second wasn’t the option the team needed. A great overtake shouldn’t give you that feeling, rather it should give you an impression of skill and finesse and timing on the part of the driver, not one of thuggery.
        Considering the number of overtakes Verstappen did do, I would have thought the judges would have been able to pick one where at least stewards wouldn’t be constantly having to listen to “But Verstappen got an award, how is what I did any different?”.

        1. At least one tyre on the track not two. I think it was pretty awesome myself, but there you go it doesn’t really matter anyway.

    3. Personality of the year was clearly Vettel. I get why Verstappen would get the other 2 awards, good for him, but personality of the year?? That was obviously someone else. So that made it look like they are trying to hype him up…. Now it casts a shadow of doubt on lots of things over my mind as well.

      1. Vettel is a superb candidate. I think nothing cracked me over more than his “I’m happy” at Monaco. So unexpected!

        1. Agreed! Or even his post quali interview where both Hamilton and Rosberg where asked if there was any decision on what to do for the race in the first corner to avoid a crash, Vettel jumped in and said “maybe you can take each other out and let me go through? No? I tried.”

          Had me in the floor laughing! clearly giving verstapen this award was staged.

          1. Even Verstappen himself didn’t really know what to think of this:

            “Personality of the Year? I’m not sure why I won that, but it’s nice to know the media like me!”

          2. Haha, even Verstappen thinks there’s too much hype around him.

            Fun fact: he already won the overtake of the year last year for his pass on Antonio Giovinazzi on the last lap at Imola.

        2. Button and Alonso all the way for me.

      2. Personality of the Year = That driver’s conference where he and Massa exchanged… views.

        1. That’s like the only thing I remembered when I thought why they could possibly give him that award. But half the drivers had their moments that deserved such an award. And Alonso and Button had considerably more than most (including Verstappen). And Vettel was just in another league there… It’s so obviously Vettel that you don’t even have to think about the answer.

        2. @gridlock So being arrogant in one press conference and not taking advice from someone in the sport for over a decade gets you personality of the year?

          1. Some tend to call this immature and arrogant. Those people expect politeness and a humble behavior from a youngster and they forget that in the F1 arena you need to extend your elbows to survive.

      3. Plus about a billion. Defo SV for me this year.

        Careful analysis of the overtakes by SV shows significant tyre offsets almost always while actual race results barring break downs and other issues show a superb talent but one that was at almost every opportunity made to look good and ensure maximum exposure regardless. The actual race results? – well in one case he spent half the race being shown on the tv racing overtaking racing driving hard to go from 9th to..


        Absolute talent but being used by all and sundry to up his worth and maximise telly time for Arab and therefore TR at the moment.

        Sad really – never mind. He can rejoice in apparently being a ‘personality’

        In the words of a famous waiter…


        1. Sorry – second paragraph of course is MV – Not SV

        2. RaceProUK (@)
          5th December 2015, 18:44


          I think you mean ‘¿Qué?’ ;)

      4. Vettel is, in my opinion, not the ‘Personality of the Year’ but ‘Personality of the Decade’. He is an exceptional character, full of wit an irony. Vettel brings relativity to F1 and it is a joy to hear him speak his mind.
        Verstappen is this year chosen for his unexpected maturity in his comments in the paddock, his firm reactions to Pit-lane instructions and for standing up for himself in the midst of the firing-line. He may be not always right but he defends his opinion with vigor. Some tend to call this immature and arrogant. Those people expect politeness and a humble behavior from a youngster and they forget that in the F1 arena you need to extend your elbows to survive.

        1. Well put.

    4. True, but it’s called the action of the year, not the overtake of the year.

      1. @matthijs All the more reason to have voted for the Porsche/Audi battle in Silverstone.

    5. exactly, and remember a lotus(Romain i think) got a penalty couple of years ago making a move round outside where by few mm his wheels went over the white line but instantly got a penalty.

      I wonder why Verstappen didn’t? unless like others have stated its because he is the current golden boy of the sport.

      1. because he is the current golden boy of the sport

        I don’t think that’s it, given they gave him 3 penalty points at Abu Dhabi. It’s just that stewards are very inconsistant.

      2. In my opinion the rules state that is is not allowed to crosse the white line with 4 wheels. He only had 2 crossing the line, so clearly a legal overtake.

      3. Neil (@neilosjames)
        6th December 2015, 7:41

        Clearly had all four off the track at the exit, but I’d assume it was because the car he overtook pitted, so he didn’t have the chance to rectify the situation as is normally the case.

        And strictly speaking he didn’t gain any sort of advantage because the car he was racing vanished at the next corner anyway.

      4. It’s not about being allowed or not allowed to cross the white lines with all 4 wheels. The question is whether the driver gained an advantage by leaving the track (would he have been able to make the pass without leaving the track).

        In Spa, the pass was made going into the Bustop chicane, and Max was slightly behind and passed on braking iirc. The stewards may not have thought going wide at Blanchimont was gaining an advantage. But if he doesn’t go wide, he can’t carry the speed.

        Max was penalized in Abu Dhabi for leaving the track to pass Button. I also liked his excuse for ignoring blue lights and keeping Hamilton behind him for a full lap “he wasn’t close enough to pass me”. Hey it worked in Singapore for him lol. Hopefully he learns that Race Control isn’t his team…

    6. Verstappen ran over the track limit in that pass, so it doesn’t count to me, if he stayed within the limit, I bet he would not have made the pass, he gained a lot of momentum when running off track. neither does Hamiltons qualifying lap count – shortcutting up Eue Rouge

    7. For all those saying Verstappen didn’t go wide at Blanchimont:

      The onboard at the end clearly shows him entire off the track and on the yellow curb.

      The question is, did he gain an advantage, well he didn’t have to slow down, so yes he did. Also, as he explains in the video, he had fresh options versus Nasr being on older primes and getting set to pit.

      The pass was made under braking where the differences in tires made the pass possible. It was find racing for sure, but pass of the year? Must have been a dearth of options.

  2. As for the personality of the year, the article on autosport.com by Lawrence Baretto makes a very convincing case for Verstappen.
    The argument that he’s only an 18 year old boy is the exact opposite as to why he’s being chosen. He’s being chosen because despite being an 18 year old he’s incredibly mature and capable, always has a good answer ready, is fiesty and combative, seems to really enjoy racing and has little or now (over)awe for the people he’s competing with. That, combined with his relatively laid back attitude towards the amazing things he’s doing, makes for a great personality. And sure, some part of ‘Personality’ has to also do with his personality in the car, but I think that’s the point.

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      5th December 2015, 18:48

      That, combined with his relatively laid back attitude towards the amazing things he’s doing, makes for a great personality.

      It makes for great professionalism, but personality? Not so much. A great personality would have to involve a certain amount of humour and playfulness as well, two things Vettel has had in spades this year.

  3. They are working hard to turn Verstappen into the sweetheart of millions. It’s getting sickly sweet. What’s with the personality award? That made me chuckle.

    1. It’s funny how where ever you go on the Internet people are asking the same question: why Vettel didn’t get the personality award. I couldn’t imagine this a couple of years ago…

  4. First time ever that any of these awards has gone to the same person in one season. Also, this is the second year running Verstappen wins the Action of the Year award (his only two years in motorsport). Call it hype: the hype is warranted.

  5. The Toro Rosso driver received awards for Rookie of the Year, Personality of the Year and Action of the Year. The latter, awarded for his overtaking move on Felipe Nasr during the Belgian Grand Prix, was chosen from ten highlights of different FIA championships throughout the 2015 season.

    In the same year they decided that no driver as young as Verstappen should ever be allowed to take part in an F1 race again.

    1. Yeah, that has irony written all over it…

    2. It is not the FIA that decides who gets the award, overtake/action = fans, rookie = other drivers and personality = accredited media.

      1. Verstappen got a load of awards based on voting and I heard about the voting part always after the result.

        1. And I’m not surprised media didn’t vote for Vettel. They obviously have no idea about what fans what or think.

          1. *want or think

  6. Wow personality? Ok, credibility has been totally lost for me with anything they give out. Vettel clearly should have won that.

    1. Right! It’s incredibly obvious that Vettel should have won that one. I don’t get it.

    2. I was asking myself “are they trying to save Bernie’s face because of his weird comments on Vettel?” It would have been hilarious if he had went and won that award after those… It’s like they cared more about Verstappen getting an award than they cared about who should get that award.

  7. Would be remiss to not link Mr Saward’s thoughts on galas, entertainment and by implication the inclusiveness of the FIA:


    1. Mr Saward’s been getting on my nerves lately…

      1. RaceProUK (@)
        5th December 2015, 18:49

        Then don’t read his blog

  8. This year, even from the beginning for any mistakes, Max was given a free pass saying, “he is a rookie and just 17 years old”. Too many pundits were happy to see such a young charge put directly into Formula 1. The very intelligent and effective marketing by Jos Verstappen also helped elevate his status very much, and now these awards as well. He has been flattered by a very good Toro Rosso chassis and even more by the unnaturally large number of mechanical failures faced by his teammate.

    I just hope that completely unforced error of flat spotting his tyre followed by two other misdemeanors in the last race isn’t the start of something downward from him. Because 2-3 more moves like that in any of the first 5 races and he may well be banned for a race (he doesn’t drop any of his 8 penalty points until Monaco). And all this euphoria will be finished. The media and pundits will then hound him more than they have loved him so far.

    1. The ‘misdemeanors’ say more about the FIA and their stewards of the race than they say about Max.

    2. I think he has made very few mistakes this year: Monaco, Silverstone and Abu Tilke I believe?
      For Sainz it is Sochi, Austin, Singapore and Japan.
      I don’t understand how the stewards managed to give Verstappen more penalty points than Maldonado, given Monaco was the only race where he was a danger to someone else. Maldonado has been quite calm this year but he still managed to crash into Perez in Hungary and into Ericsson at Interlagos.

    3. Verstappen was not free from mechanical failures. He suffered four of them right in the first half of the season.
      Sainz was hit by six mechanical failures in the second half. Which was very sad for him.

  9. I love the people saying that Vettel should have won personality of the year… can you imagine anyone saying that a year or two ago? He hasn’t changed that much, but opinions of him certainly have.

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      5th December 2015, 18:51

      I think it’s because he’s been much happier this year, as evidenced by how playful he’s been in press conferences and such.

    2. Vettel has always been funny. See the 2010 German Grand Prix press conference where questions were being bombarded to Fernando and Felipe over team orders and Seb cheekily took Fernando’s mike and said, “Can I leave.. I have to take a shower”..

      Also watch his autosport award speech of 2011.

    3. @ciaran He hasn’t changed at all, just the colour of his racing suit. I always had a little giggle when people said he was arrogant, unkind, or just attributed him with another bad quality, and I’m a die hard Webber fan…

  10. I thought Max was really good in front of the camera, though I found Alonso more amusing overall.

    1. I agree. There should be Radio Sound Bite(s) of the Year Award.

  11. ” It’s impossible to say what it means to be a 3 times World champion, except the bit about never having to wear a tie again.”

    What !? this isn’t the caption competition?

    1. His clothes seem so out of place. Not at all appropriate for a black tie event, no?

      1. I am a big Lewis fan but his dress sense sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, that suit and shoe’s are simply awful.

  12. how on earth did max verstappen get personality of the year?
    by far Sebastian Vettel should have definetely won personality of the year!

    1. Someone said up there, he should win the Personality of the Decade award, not 2015.

      1. absolutely agreed!

  13. They deserve it.

Comments are closed.