RACE DEBRIEF

    The great and the good of the motorsport world were out in force on Friday evening for the annual FIA Prize Giving Gala at the Palace of Versailles in France.

    Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas were presented with their trophies for finishing second and third respectively in the 2017 F1 driver standings, after which Lewis Hamilton was officially crowned FIA Formula One World Champion for a fourth time.

    Between them, Hamilton and team mate Bottas won 12 Grands Prix this season, powering Mercedes to a fourth constructors’ championship, the trophy for which was awarded to team boss Toto Wolff.

    Max Verstappen, one of only three men to beat the Mercedes drivers in 2017 with his Red Bull victories in Malaysia and Mexico, picked up the FIA Personality of the Year prize for the third year in succession.

    And there was silverware too for Charles Leclerc, who powered to the Formula 2 title this year en route to landing a Sauber F1 race seat for 2018. The Ferrari-backed Monegasque driver collected the FIA Rookie of the Year trophy.

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