The FIA General Assembly ended with a spectacular PRIZE GIVING GALA 2018. For the first time, the award ceremony for world motorsport champions took place in St. Petersburg, Russia. The stars of world motorsport gathered in the Grand Hall of the Dmitry Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia.
Jean Todt, FIA President: «I am pleased that the FIA General Assembly takes place here in magnificent St. Petersburg! Today we are holding the 29th awarding ceremony for your champions. I am very proud that yesterday we had a meaningful conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the development of motor racing and road safety. I want to thank Victor Kiryanov, President of the Russian Automobile Federation, for a fantastic week in St. Petersburg.»
Victor Kiryanov, RAF President: «It is a great honour for us to host delegates from 145 countries of the world led by FIA President Jean Todt. This week we discussed the full range of issues, from medicine and racing safety to global issues, which will determine the motorsport policy for the next few years. I hope that todays reception in honour of the World Champions will remain one of the highlights of the year for our guests! Especially the fact that there are three Russians receiving motorsport awards today: Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov, European Rally Champions, and George Chivchyan, winner of the Intercontinental Drift Cup. I wholeheartedly congratulate all of us. I thank the RAF partners for the support and cooperation in this large-scale project, which is so significant for Russia.»
The general partners of the award ceremony on the Russian side were the oil company Gazprom Neft and the G-Drive brand, premium fuel with improved performance characteristics. The official partner is the international company Kaspersky Lab, working in information security.
Vyacheslav Fetisov and the British TV presenter and the face of Formula 1 Nicki Shields were the hosts of the award ceremony. Highlight of the gala show was the presentation of the Championship Trophy to Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes AMG Petrona F1 Team driver made history in 2018, becoming only the third driver to claim five championship wins, matching the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio and closing in on seven-time title-winning great Michael Schumacher. The Briton was pushed hard for much of the season by chief title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, but four consecutive grand prix victories after the sports traditional August break handed Hamilton a commanding championship lead and the Mexican Grand Prix fourth place was enough to seal a remarkable fifth F1 crown. The Formula One Constructors title, meanwhile, went to the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team for the fifth consecutive time.
Commenting on the teams success, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff said: «It was an unbelievable season. Did I enjoy the battle with Ferrari? No, I didnt, its really tough. But If I look back, I wouldnt have done it any other way. Its what Formula 1 is all about. Its the pinnacle of motor racing and you expect your competitors to be very strong. In the end it makes the end result even more enjoyable.»
In rallying, French Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia landed their sixth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship title.
Like Ogiers victory, compatriot Jean-Eric Vergnes FIA Formula E triumph was another giant-killing act, as the privateer TECHEETAH team driver powered ahead of mighty Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.
European rally champions Russian racers Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov and the winner of the Intercontinental Drift Cup George Chivchyan were among more than 80 champions and prize-winners on the stage of the Grand Hall of the Philharmonia. In the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Mick Schumacher, son of F1 legend Michael, was victorious.
Victor Kiryanov presented The Personality of the Year award, voted for by permanently accredited media from the FIAs major championship, to five-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.
The Rookie of the Year prize was won for the second year in a row by Formula One star Charles Leclerc. In 2018 he successfully debuted with Sauber. In the season, the Monegasque racer will step up to the F1 championship, becoming a partner of the four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari.
The Action of the Year prize, voted for by fans of motor sport via the FIAs online channels, was presented to WRC star Teemu Suninen, whose epic save from an almost certain crash during Rally Finland was deemed to be the most incredible moment of the year.
Meanwhile, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff and the teams Non-Executive Director Niki Lauda won the Presidents Award for their efforts in securing a fifth consecutive Formula One Constructors title.
Gazprom Neft is a vertically integrated oil company, primarily engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, refining, and the production and sale of petroleum products. The Gazprom Neft Group of Companies comprises more than 70 production, refining and sales subsidiaries throughout Russia, the CIS, and abroad.
G-Drive is a premium high performance fuel, sold exclusively at Gazpromneft gas stations. New G-Drive 100 fuel unleashes the full potential of engine power and delivers the pleasure of dynamic driving.
Kaspersky Lab is a global cyber security company founded in 1997. Kaspersky Labs deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The companys comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and the company helps 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. More at .
The Russian Automobile Federation extends gratitude to partner companies: VTB, Uralkali, Russian Railways, GOSZNAK.
The event was held with the consulting support from the ROSCONGRESS Foundation.