Motorsport Week  |    |   3  |  7 December 2018

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes crowned at FIA Prize Giving ceremony

Lewis Hamilton has been officially crowned Formula 1 World Champion for a fifth time during the FIA’s annual Prize Giving ceremony on Friday evening.

The gala, in which champions from FIA-sanctioned series receive their accolades, was held at the Philharmonia Grand Hall in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

Hamilton was on hand to collect the Drivers’ Championship for the fifth time in his career, following on from previous title-winning success in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

The trophy was presented to Hamilton by FIA President Jean Todt.

Hamilton battled with Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel through the opening half of the campaign before pulling clear after the summer break, as his opponents encountered a series of mistakes and setbacks.

Hamilton ultimately finished 88 points clear of Vettel, taking 11 wins compared to the five achieved by the Ferrari driver.

Vettel was on hand to collect the runner-up prize while a slightly worse-for-wear Kimi Raikkonen picked up his trophy for finishing third.

Joining Hamilton on stage was Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, who once again picked up the Constructors’ trophy, courtesy of the manufacturer’s fifth straight triumph in the competition.

The Constructors' trophy was presented to Wolff by Formula 1 CEO and Chairman Chase Carey.

Hamilton, who was absent from Friday afternoon’s press conference due to illness, was also the recipient of the FIA’s Personality of the Year award.

Sauber’s Charles Leclerc was voted Rookie of the Year for the second successive season, this time for his exploits in his maiden Formula 1 campaign, in which he placed 13th in the championship with 39 points.

Mercedes chiefs Wolff and Niki Lauda were honoured with the FIA President’s Special Award, which was collected by Wolff.

Elsewhere George Russell and Mick Schumacher received their FIA accolades for their respective success in Formula 2 and Formula 3.

Jean-Eric Vergne picked up his honour for taking the 2017/18 Formula E championship, just a week before his title defence begins with the start of the new season in Saudi Arabia.

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