The 2015 F1 season just got over on a high note with Lewis Hamilton winning the championship and Mercedes-AMG taking the constructor's title. But more than Hamilton, the 2015 will be known for Max Verstappen, the Rookie Toro Rosso driver who became the youngest ever driver to race in a F1 race at an age of 17 years. And what more, F1 changed the minimum age to race to 18 years, making him hold the record indefinitely.
Well, this will not be the only record he will take home from the previous season! The Dutch driver has just been awarded three more awards at the FIA motorsports awards last weekend. Max Verstappen won Rookie of the Year award, Personality of the Year award and best Action of the Year award. This makes him the only driver to win more than one non-championship related awards in a single season.
While Rookie of the Year and Personality of the Year are understood, the Action of the Year award was given to him for a daring overtake at the Belgian GP. The 18-year old driver took a daring maneuver from the outside line at an ostensibly high-speed of more than 300 kmph. Max overtook Sauber's Felipe Nasr at the Blanchimont corner of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit for a fight for the 11th spot.
The gutsy move helped Max finish at the eighth spot who started from the 15th spot at the grid. This is not the first time Vertsappen won this award as he won the same last year for the Formula 3 championship. Verstappen went on to earn 49 points in his rookie season, driving for not so fast car, with 2 fourth place finishes. While many argued over the controversial choice of Toro Rosso to give Verstappen a race seat at such young age, they have retained him for the next season as well.
"I am amazed and very happy to have won three awards this evening at such an important event, and at the end of only my first year in Formula 1," said Verstappen. "It's nice to win the Action of the Year for the second time, because I really enjoy overtaking on track."
"It's a great honour to win the Rookie of the Year award, as it's voted for by the Drivers' Commission and I have to say, getting two fourth place finishes in my first F1 season is more than I expected," he further added. "Personality of the Year? I'm not sure why I won that, but it's nice to know the media like me!"
Lewis Hamilton, the current world champion and Kimi Raikkonen the former world champion faced the similar controversy when they started out in F1. Both left behind the controversies and went onto become world championships, 2 time for Hamilton and 1 for Raikkonen. Kimi is also the oldest driver on the grid now at 36 years, twice Verstappen's age, which means that age is just a number, be it youngest or oldest.
As for the Toro Rosso, it's a team which has always supported the talent. Multiple world champions Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel started their career with the same outfit. Infact Alonso started it way back when Toro Rosso was still known as Minardi. It wouldn't be surprising if Max to become a champion in the coming years.