Piquet, Warwick and Le Mans honoured at Autosport Awards
Three-time Formula 1 champion Nelson Piquet made a rare UK appearance to collect an Award for his enduring contribution to motorsport
The 2017 Autosport Awards honoured both three-time Formula 1 world champion and former F1 driver Derek Warwick for their contributions to motorsport with the presentation of two Gregor Grant Awards.
Piquet, who won the F1 title in 1981 and ‘83 for Brabham, and then in ‘87 with Williams, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement in Motorsport honour from former Brabham chief designer Gordon Murray.
‘I want to thank all the racing teams that gave me the chance to drive. Most importantly, I want to say thank you to those who worked with me for many years,’ said Piquet.
‘The time I had in motor racing was fantastic. To learn and work with a team was the most important. There is something that I want to say to everyone who is participating in motorsport. Racing taught me so many things in life, to be more responsible, to be on time and all of the things have made me successful outside of motor racing also.’
Warwick, who recently stepped aside as president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, was recognised for his work in nurturing rising British drivers – including his role as judge of the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. As president, Warwick also presided over Silverstone’s hosting of the British Grand Prix.
The 1992 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, who received the accolade as a surprise, now joins Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt Sr, Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss, Alain Prost and Emerson Fittipaldi as fellow winners of the Gregor Grant Award.
Le Mans 24 Hours organiser Automobile Club de L’Ouest also received a John Bolster Award for its outstanding contribution to motorsport technology. It followed this year’s 85th running of the endurance race.
Named after Autosport’s co-founder and former technical editor, the Award also recognised the ACO’s role in organising the World Endurance Championship, working with the FIA.
ACO president Pierre Fillon, who was on stage to accept the award by 2017 WEC champions and Le Mans winners Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard, said:
‘It's a great honour to accept the award and to be here with the winners of Le Mans.
‘I accept this award on behalf of every single member of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, every volunteer, every marshal and all the fans.’
Lewis Hamilton received both International Racing Driver of the Year and British Competition Driver of the Year in celebration of his fourth F1 title, although was not there on the night to collect his awards.
Red Bull junior driver Dan Ticktum followed on from his recent success at the Macau Grand Prix by claiming the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, receiving the opportunity to test a McLaren F1 car and to have a simulator role with the team, plus BRDC membership and an Arai crash helmet.