TAG Heuer Racing Awards launched

Who is the best racing driver in the world? A new competition is launched: The TAG Heuer Racing Awards! A few days after the 2 most prestigious races in the world at Monaco and Indianapolis, a brand new and independent competition has been...

Who is the best racing driver in the world?

A new competition is launched: The TAG Heuer Racing Awards!

A few days after the 2 most prestigious races in the world at Monaco and Indianapolis, a brand new and independent competition has been launched to determine the best racing driver on the planet.

The TAG Heuer Racing Awards will be an accurate way of determining the best driver at any period in time, and at the end of any year.

''Using our heritage and DNA in motor racing, we thought it was appropriate to try to identify the best driver of the world'' declares Jean Christophe Babin, TAG Heuer chairman and CEO. ''Our idea is not to revise each championship or race results but to offer to the fans the opportunity to discover new categories, to celebrate amazing performances and to promote drivers. I'm sure there will be some surprises''.

Using a jury of ex-drivers, team principles, race promoter s and journalists, TAG Heuer has produced its own method of judging skills and analyzing results on a weekly basis.

Using an objective criteria validated by the panel of 8 international motor racing experts, race results will be analyzed every Monday. The 5 categories selected are Formula One, GP2, Indycar, NASCAR and the World Rally Championship.

Based on the official results of each event, points will be awarded to the first five finishers, with additional points for the fastest lap or the winner of most legs in a Rally event.

A simple calculation will then be applied to determine the best driver overall, after each race. The driver with the most points will be presented with the TAG Heuer Racing Awards at the end of the year. The ranking will take into account more than 150 drivers from the 5 categories.

The importance and legitimacy of the awards can be measured by the quality and variety of skills brought by members of the jury:

- Michele Mouton (1982 World Rally vice-champion, President of the Jury for the TAG Heuer Racing Awards)
- Alain Prost ( Four-times Formula One World Champion)
- Fredrik Johnsson (CEO of IMP and Promoter of The Race of Champions)
- Lord March ( Founder and Promoter of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival meeting)
- David Richards ( Chairman and Chief Executive of Prodrive Group and Chairman of Aston Martin Racing)
- Antonio Mandiola (President of Fangio Foundation and director of Fangio Museum)
- Jacques Dechenaux (ex TSR journalist and writer)
- James Allen (ITV F1 commentator and motor sport correspondent for The Financial Times)

The jury panel is intimately aware of the problems associated with assessing driving talent across the broad spectrum of motor sport necessary to make the TAG Heuer Racing Awards worthwhile. Not only that, it is often difficult to compare drivers from different eras within the same category of racing. TAG Heuer and the panel believe they have devised a fail-safe formula.

After each race, points will be awarded to the first five finishers: 1st -- 6 points; 2nd- 4 points; 3rd -- 3 points; 4th -- 2 points; 5th - 1 point. In addition, 1 point will be given for fastest lap or, in the case of the WRC, the winner of the most legs throughout the rally.

Then, the total of the points scored by each driver since the beginning of the season will be multiplied by the average number of drivers in that category since the beginning of the season, and then divided by the number of rounds already occurred in that particular championship. This unique and simple calculation will give the final scoring, named Racing Awards Index .

"I agreed to be the President of this prestigious panel first of all because I fully support the idea of rewarding actual performances according to competitive criteria....it's this that gives the sportsman his satisfaction and pride," says Michele Mouton. "Often, results do not reflect the performance! I think it's an excellent idea to want to measure and quantify the performance of drivers according to fair criteria, without making any distinctions based on reputation between their respective disciplines."

Members of the jury will regularly comment on the points table and progress of the leading contenders. They would have also the authority to revise the methodology if necessary, and work on extra parameters.

"I accepted the invitation to be part of the jury because I felt this type of award was long overdue,' says David Richards. 'It's innovative and compares all the disciplines of motor sport in a logical manner. Prodrive has been actively involved in most forms of motorsport and there are very few environments where specialists in each discipline can compare their individual talents. If they cannot do it on the track then the second best solution is to do so by way of the TAG Heuer Racing Awards.''

"I think the public will be given information about categories, drivers and performances they may have never heard about before'' says Alain Prost. ''I wish we could also celebrate fresh young talents, like, if the awards would have been created, the ranking would have promoted Lewis Hamilton in 2006, even before he entered F1 and became Vice Champion in 2007."

-credit: tagheuerranking.com

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Alain Prost , Michèle Mouton , David Richards
Teams Aston Martin Racing