Lewis Hamilton surprisingly beats George Russell and Lando Norris to award

The Autosport Awards have a section of awards voted for by fans rather than an expert panel, including the British Driver of the Year.

Lewis Hamilton has just completed the most difficult season of his Formula 1 career, finishing sixth in the drivers’ championship and behind his new teammate George Russell.

Mercedes only managed to pick up a single win over the course of the 2022 season, and this came courtesy of Russell in Brazil, meaning Hamilton finished the season winless for the first time in his career.

Despite all of this, Hamilton beat both his teammate Russell and McLaren’s Lando Norris to the fan voted British Driver of the Year for the eighth time at the Autosport Awards on the 4th December.

The 37-year-old was not able to attend the awards evening at Grosvenor House, however he did provide a video response to picking up the award once again.

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“Good evening everyone, I am sorry I couldn’t be there in person but a huge thank you to all the Autosport readers. I still remember my first time at the awards, many years ago,” began the Brit.

“There are some amazingly talented drivers this year, I cannot believe how many amazing British drivers we keep producing, so I am honoured to win this award, thank you so much.”

Sebastian Vettel was awarded the Gregor Grant award for lifetime achievements in motorsport, which was voted for by a panel of experts rather than fans.

Hamilton picked up nine podium finishes over the course of his turbulent 2022 season, where Mercedes struggled to give either of their drivers a car capable of competition with Ferrari and Red Bull, due to their inability to tackle the new regulations.

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Toto Wolff has suggested that the Silver Arrows got their physics calculations wrong, and that the porpoising issue cost his team half a season’s worth of development, which would explain Mercedes’ below par performances over the course of the season.

While Hamilton was outscored by Russell in the championship, he may have been genuinely worthy of winning the British Driver of the Year award, after he admitted that he essential sacrificed his first half of the season to take part in radical set-up experiments with the team, as they attempted to find their missing pace.

2023 will hopefully bring better fortunes for Hamilton, as the Brit is set to sign a multi-year contract extension with the faith that Mercedes will provide him with a car capable of winning his record breaking eighth world title.