Max Verstappen capped off a remarkable 2016 Formula 1 season by winning two awards at the FIA Prize Giving in Vienna, Austria on Friday.
Verstappen, 19, became the youngest grand prix winner in F1 history at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, taking victory on his Red Bull debut after being promoted from Toro Rosso four races into the year.
The Dutchman ended the 2016 season fifth in the drivers’ championship, and also won the Driver of the Day award more times than anyone else.
Verstappen featured on the shortlist for both FIA Personality of the Year and FIA Action of the Year, having won both awards at the gala in 2015, and walked away with the silverware once again.
Verstappen was voted as the FIA Personality of the Year by permanent FIA-accredited journalists for the second year running, fending off competition from Mark Webber, Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton.
His wet-weather overtaking masterclass in Brazil saw Verstappen win the FIA Action of the Year, with his stunning overtake on Nico Rosberg being the sole nomination from F1.
The gala saw the FIA champions for 2016 be officially crowned, including Rosberg, who was given the F1 World Championship trophy just hours after announcing his retirement from racing.
Alexander Rossi bobbled for the first time in 2018 with an 11th-place finish in the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.
And to add insult to injury, Rossi also lost the points lead as a result.
Rossi got off to about as great a start to the season as possible. He finished third at St. Petersburg and sat third in the standings. He finished third again at Phoenix and climbed to second in the points.
Rossi won the Long Beach Grand Prix after starting from the pole and leading 71 laps. That put him at the top of the standings after three races.
Then, as quickly as he climbed to the top, he got knocked down a spot after finishing off the podium for the first time in 2018.
Rossi not only missed the podium, he finished outside the top 10.
“We didn’t get the result that we wanted,” Rossi said after the race. “That remains a mystery. But at the end of the day it was about survival. We couldn’t make the tires last; we couldn’t really get a great fuel number.”
The biggest negative was the one factor that was mostly out of his control. Rossi gambled that he was facing only a brief shower when rain began to fall with about 15 minutes remaining. He was wrong.
“We tried to be pretty aggressive on the dry tires and stay out and survive the rain, hoping it would dry out,” Rossi said. “And it didn’t really work.
“Sometimes you’ll have those days.”