'Tis the season to hand out awards

'Tis the season to hand out awards

This time of year sees various racing publications hand out their yearly awards in different categories of achievements. For a change, in 2003 it isn't Michael Schumacher and Ferrari making a clean sweep of things; Juan Pablo Montoya was voted ...

This time of year sees various racing publications hand out their yearly awards in different categories of achievements. For a change, in 2003 it isn't Michael Schumacher and Ferrari making a clean sweep of things; Juan Pablo Montoya was voted International Driver of the Year by readers of Autosport Magazine.

Juan Pablo Montoya.
Photo by Greg Gage.
"I'm just trying to make it a lot more fun. I think people like that," said Montoya, who accepted the award from Stirling Moss. "Williams did a bloody good job all year. We just started scoring points too late. I think Williams know what it did wrong this year, and they know how to be strong from race one. 2004 will be my last year with Williams, so I'll definitely try to win the title with the team next year."

Ferrari lost out to Bentley's Speed Eight, which won Le Mans, for Racing Car of the Year. The Scuderia did manage the award for Technical Excellence, which was accepted by technical director Ross Brawn, designer Rory Byrne and head of engine development Paolo Martinelli.

BAR driver Jenson Button was designated British Driver of the Year and Renault's Fernando Alonso was acclaimed for becoming the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix. Former F1 driver and now commentator Martin Brundle received a medal from the British Racing Drivers Club, the highest honour given by the club, which was presented by Sir Jackie Stewart. The BRDC also awarded McLaren's David Coulthard a Gold Star for the top British Driver in international motorsport.

Fernando Alonso.
Photo by LAT Photographic.
Meanwhile, in F1 Racing Magazine's yearly gongfest, Michael Schumacher was chosen as Man of the Year and while Ferrari was awarded Pit Crew of the Year, it was Williams that won the Car of the Year accolade for the FW25. Boss Sir Frank Williams picked up Team Principal of the Year and again Montoya was honoured. The Colombian was awarded Personality and Overtaking Manouver of the Year, the latter for his move on Schumacher at the Nurburgring.

Alonso was the highest achiever with no less than three awards; Drive of the Year (at the Spanish GP), Qualifier of the Year and Driver of the Year. Renault was also a winner, Most Improved Team of the Year. Jaguar's Justin Wilson picked up Start of the Year (Malaysia) and Toyota's Cristiano da Matta Rookie of the Year.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams