Just a few days after securing a Formula One drive with Sauber for the next season, Charles Leclerc enjoyed another high by winning the Richard Mille Rookie of the Year award at the 2017 Autosport Awards on Sunday evening.
The young Monégasque racing driver and member of the Ferrari Driver Academy blitzed the field in Formula 2 this year, as the 20-year-old clinched the 2017 title in his maiden season in the category by collecting wins and eight pole positions with Prema Racing. The 20-year-old Ferrari junior’s outstanding performance in F1’s feeder series made him a compelling 2018 choice for Sauber with whom the Monegasque also enjoyed four FP1 outings this season: “Coming into 2017 I didn’t expect a season like that.” Charles Leclerc said, as he received his distinguished award from the hands of Chase Carey, the chief executive officer and executive chairman of the Formula One Group – “Formula 2 is a very competitive series and for rookies it’s very hard because the Pirelli tyre is a hard one to learn. It’s a hard rookie season and to top it off with F1 [graduation] is amazing.” – Charles Leclerc added.
Sunday’s evenings other notable laureates were Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who won both the International Racing and British Competition Driver awards on the back of his fourth Formula One world title, and Lando Norris who collected the 2017 National Driver of the Year prize.