Stefan Wilson was announced as the winner of the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award at the 2007 Autosport Awards in London on Sunday 2 December. The prize is designed to recognise and reward the most talented young drivers, and for Stefan this achievement crowns a hugely successful first year in single-seater racing. It also marks him out as one to watch for the future as he joins the ranks of previous winners including David Coulthard, Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson.
At the ceremony a delighted Stefan said: "This is the first time in my life that I have been speechless! I thought I was the underdog, so I was thrilled when I heard my name announced." He was also pleased that he had gone one better than brother Justin, a former nominee for the award. "It's great for me, it's going to separate me from my brother," he said. "It gives me my own identity, and I can get one over him!"
Stefan was one of six finalists for the award, who all went through an on-track evaluation at Snetterton, driving a World Series by Renault single-seater, a DTM Mercedes and a Porsche Carrera Cup car. This was followed by interviews at the McLaren Technology Centre. Despite being the youngest and least experienced of the candidates, Stefan's performance convinced the panel of judges that he deserved to win.
As part of his prize, Stefan receives 50,000GBP and a test in a McLaren Mercedes F1 car, as well as a GP2 test, membership of the British Racing Drivers' Club and a 6,000GBP one-off Graham Chronograph Swordfish timepiece. But the prestige and recognition that the award carries with it will really help Stefan as he develops his racing career. He said: "I'm going to see what doors this prize opens before we make any decisions on what happens next year."
At the awards ceremony Stefan had the thrill of seeing his name on the side of a McLaren F1 car, just above that of Lewis Hamilton. "F1 is the highest level of motorsport," he said, "and I'm sure with the right support I can get there one day."