FIA champions for the 2023 season have been honored during a glittering ceremony held in the stunning Baku Convention Center, with the event concluding the week of FIA General Assemblies taking place in the capital city of Azerbaijan.
Hosted by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the event was held by the local FIA member club, the Azerbaijan Automobile Federation (AAF), the City of Baku and the Baku City Circuit (since 2016 home to the local Formula 1 Grand Prix), and with the support of official partners – Rolex, Hankook Tire & Technology and Brembo.
“I’d like to start by saying thank you to the Azerbaijani Government, to our member club, the Azerbaijan Automobile Federation and its President, Mr. Anar Alakbarov, the beautiful City of Baku and the Baku City Circuit for having us here,” said FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
“Tonight, we have celebrated our champions, both the established names, the multiple title winners, as well as the emerging stars of the future from across the spectrum of our competitions. The FIA Prize Giving is always a special moment for all and a true celebration of motor sport,” he added.
The focal point of the evening was Max Verstappen receiving the FIA Formula One World Championship for Drivers trophy for the third time in his career in reward for his stellar season that resulted in a total of 19 wins (as well as four out of a possible six sprint wins) achieved across the 22 races held this year.
“I was of course never thinking about trying to break all these records, I was just trying to do the best I could every single race weekend and enjoy it as well. These kind of great moments don’t come along that often,” said Verstappen who, on his way to his third title, broke a 71-year-old record of the highest percentage of race wins in a season.
The Constructors’ thropy was accepted by Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Team Principal Christian Horner.
Toyota Gazoo Racing enjoyed a particularly fruitful evening, receiving trophies for Drivers’, Co-Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in no less than three competitions – FIA World Rally Championship, FIA World Endurance Championship and FIA World Rally-Raid Championship.
Finland’s Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen received their second set of trophies in as many years, becoming two-time FIA WRC champions.
The Toyota Gazoo Racing crew of Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryō Hirakawa claimed their second FIA Hypercar World Endurance Drivers’ Championship in a row, while the Japanese brand secured its fifth consecutive FIA WEC Manufacturers’ title.
Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah and his Andorra-based French co-driver Mathieu Baumel retained their FIA World Rally-Raid Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championships for the second season.
Jake Dennis received his maiden ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for Drivers trophy, following a season where consistency over the course of his campaign secured him the coveted title. Envision Racing was crowned as the best squad in the all-electric single-seater series.
Johan Kristoffersson was celebrated for his sixth FIA World Rallycross Championship title – one that he clinched at the final round of the series in Hong Kong, and which also marked his 40th career victory.
His team, Kristoffersson Motorsport, put in another dominant performance against strong opposition this year to secure back-to-back Teams’ titles.
As much as it is about the established names and the record-breakers, the FIA Prize Giving is also about the rising stars and emerging talent. Several up-and-coming motor sport competitors, at different stages of their careers, were crowned at the gala.
Théo Pourchaire and Gabriel Bortoleto received trophies for their respective Formula 2 and Formula 3 titles, while kart racers Paolo Ippolito, Kirill Kutskov and Dries Van Langendonck for winning KZ, OK and Junior categories.
Winners of the FIA Formula 3 and GT World Cups, which returned this year as part of the Macau Grand Prix following a three-year absence, were also crowned, with Raffaele Marciello (Mercedes-AMG) and Luke Browning (Hitech Pulse-Eight) claiming their second and first FIA World Cup trophies respectively.
Several special awards have also been handed out, with Oscar Piastri claiming the FIA Rookie of the Year prize, Sadiq Kalawadh of Bahrain becoming the FIA Outstanding Official of the Year and Fernando Alonso winning the FIA Action of the Year for his overtake on the final lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Christian von Koenigsegg received the FIA President’s Innovation Medal for lifetime achievements and contributions towards automotive engineering.
For the full list of 2023 champions & award winners view the official FIA Prize Giving brochure.