FIA Prize-Giving 2014 inaugurates new format in Doha
The prestigious annual FIA Prize-Giving ceremony, which honours the achievements of all FIA Champions over the past season, will take place in Doha, Qatar, on 5 December. This year’s edition will be truly special, as it will inaugurate a new format.
Thu 27.11.14, 5:05PM
The celebrations will start on 4 December with a thrilling Prize-Giving Challenge. FIA Champions and guests will take part for the first time in a fun and exciting competition held at a karting track designed by Herman Tilke in the Prize-Giving Village in Doha, under the direction of F1 race director Charlie Whiting. More than 30 drivers have confirmed their participation, including Daniel Ricciardo, Sébastien Loeb and Petter Solberg. Follow their performance that day using #FIAChallenge.
A press conference of the FIA Champions, a unique opportunity to see champions from the greatest motor sport disciplines side-by-side, will be organised on 5 December. Fans will be given the chance to submit questions to their favorite champions ahead of the event via Facebook and Twitter using #FIADriversTalk and follow the event live on Facebook.
The day will culminate with a glamorous two-part ceremony celebrating the FIA champions. For the first time in FIA history, the ceremony will be broadcast live on BeIN Sport. Follow us on Twitter for exclusive red carpet and backstage insights using #FIAPrizeGiving.
The winners of the 2014 FIA Personality of the Year and 2014 FIA Action of the Year awards will be unveiled that same evening, as will brand new FIA Rookie of the Year award and FIA Pole Position trophy.
FIA Personality of the Year 2014
The FIA Personality of the Year award sees permanently accredited media from the FIA’s World Championships honour the competitor or figure – a driver, a team manager, an official, a volunteer, etc., affiliated to an FIA Championship or Event, who they believe achieved an exceptional performance this season.
FIA Action of the Year 2014
The FIA Action of the Year award allows motor sport’s legions of fans to choose their defining event of the sporting year. The fans will be able from 20 November to cast their vote on fia.com and win a great prize.
FIA Rookie of the Year 2014
The FIA Prize-Giving will this year welcome for the first time in FIA history a new FIA Rookie of the Year award.
The FIA Rookie of the Year will be chosen amongst drivers who just completed their first season in an FIA championship. Eligible series include the FIA Formula One World Championship, World Rally Championship, European Rally Championship, World Touring Car Championship, World Endurance Championship, World Rallycross Championship, European Rallycross Championship, European Formula 3 Championship and CIK Karting KF World Championship.
The award winner will be voted for by his or her peers as the seasoned drivers of the FIA Drivers’ Commission have been tasked with the difficult choice. Headed by Formula One two-time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, the Commission also includes Sébastien Loeb, Nigel Mansell, Karun Chandhok, Emmanuele Piro, Yvan Muller, Susie Wolff, HRH Prince A. Al Faisal, Nasser Al Attiyah, Marcus Grönholm, Daniel Elena, Kenneth Hansen, Danilo Rossi and Keiko Ihara.
Pascal Wehrlein topped the timesheets at the end of the second day of post-season testing at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, the Mercedes reserve driver’s 1m42.624s lap more than half a second clear of second-placed Raffaele Marciello’s best effort for Ferrari. It was Wehrlein’s first time driving the W05 after being named Silver Arrows reserve; the DTM racer first tasted F1 machinery when given a chance to drive the W03 in September.
It was another difficult start to the day for McLaren, who were only able to complete three laps on the first day of the post-season test. Despite having a successful fire-up of the new Honda power unit at 6am on Wednesday morning, when the pit lane opened to mark the start of the session the MP429H/1X1 suffered a further set of electrical problems.
Team principal Eric Boullier told the media that Wednesday’s electrical issues were different to those the team had experienced the day before, and investigations into the source of the problem prevented McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne from running at all in the morning session. The afternoon was little better - Vandoorne completed one installation lap and stopped on track during his second attempt, causing one of the five red flags of the day.
With an hour left on the clock on Wednesday afternoon Will Stevens stopped his Caterham out on track, with 76 laps under his belt and a respectable best effort of 1m44.888s, putting the Briton ahead of a beleaguered Daniel Ricciardo, whose day came to a dramatic end when the rear of his Red Bull erupted in flames. The Australian was handy with the fire extinguisher, but remained in the garage for the last two hours of track time and ended the day seventh on the timesheets with 88 laps completed.
Lotus were the only team to split the day’s running between two drivers: European Formula 3 champion Esteban Ocon, and GP3 champion Alex Lynn. Ocon was sixth on the timesheets when he handed control of the E22 over to Lynn, having managed only 34 laps due to unspecified car problems. With 52 laps completed by Lynn Lotus managed a daily total of 86 laps, with the two drivers the slowest of those able to set times.
Ferrari debutant Marciello’s P2-worthy time came towards the end of the afternoon’s running, upsetting the best efforts of Max Verstappen, who had kept the Toro Rosso second in the standings for much of the day following a front suspension failure that curtailed his time in the cockpit on Tuesday. It wasn’t all smooth running for the Dutch racer, however, as afternoon power unit problems cost Verstappen three hours in the garage.
The last of the debutants to take to the track on Wednesday was Australian Formula 3 driver Spike Goddard, who managed a respectable 89 laps for Force India the day after GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer missed out on a full day’s running thanks to power unit problems. Goddard made progress over the course of the day, and when time was called he sat comfortably in the middle of the timesheets with a best effort of 1m44.944s.
Felipe Nasr took his final turn for Williams on Wednesday; the Brazilian will be moving to Sauber for 2015 where he joins fellow test participant Marcus Ericsson. Ericsson put the Sauber through its paces during the second day of testing, logging 112 laps behind the wheel and ending the session fourth on the timesheets with a 1m44.551s lap.
Wednesday morning also saw Force India testing the new Info Wing device, an LED information system aimed at delivering easy-to-read race information to fans in the grandstands. Fitted to the airbox camera mounting, the Info Wing shows the driver’s name, position, and tyre compound, and has been designed with a view to improving the trackside experience at grands prix.
Having won the 2014 FIA European Formula 3 Championship with a round to spare, beating the likes of Max Verstappen and Tom Blomqvist, Esteban Ocon has been picking up as much experience of F1 machinery as possible over the past few months.
Ocon’s first taste of F1 machinery was a 2012 Lotus at the end of October, followed shortly by a day spent driving an F10 around Fiorano. Over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend the 18-year-old Frenchman took part in FP1 for the Lotus team, and he rounded off his F1-heavy 2014 with a morning spent driving for Lotus in the post-season test. After his morning’s running, Ocon sat down with FIA.com for an exclusive chat.
And how did he enjoy himself on Wednesday morning at Yas Marina? Running in the test was “much easier [than on Friday morning in FP1], because I was more used to the car and I had more time to discover the limits,” he said. “For sure it’s much easier - we saw it on the data, and I had less of a margin compared to in practice.
“Unfortunately we had a problem and we couldn’t really complete all of the programme that was planned, but we still achieved good things. It was a good test, and I’m quite happy about that. The team were really happy with what I said [in debrief], what I did while driving. If they’re happy, I’m happy too.”
What about the car itself? Having had more experience of running 2010 and 2012 F1 cars than any of the current models, was it hard to adapt to the power delivery of the hybrid units?
“I was expecting that, but after the first lap it was fine - I was adapting really quickly and I got used to it,” Ocon asserted. “I think F3 is a really good school because the car is really fast in corners. The 2012 car is just an F3 with power, the old version of Formula One. This one is a bit different, it’s a bit more difficult to drive. There’s less grip, and it’s faster on the straights, so for sure it’s a different driving style, but it’s just a matter of adapting.
But what about the brake-by-wire systems that proved to be so tricky for experienced F1 pilots in the early part of the season? “That was alright, that was alright. I didn’t really feel it was that weird. I adapted quickly, and it was okay.”
One of the challenges of a half-day testing programme is ensuring that the car is handed over to the afternoon driver in one piece. Does the knowledge that someone else will be taking over in a few hours mean you refrain from pushing, from driving on the limit?
“I drive normally,” Ocon said. “I didn’t crash at all this year, maybe twice in the race, so… If I didn’t crash in the season, why would I do it now? I took things step by step - for sure it’s not good to crash the car - and I was thinking about it a bit, but I pushed like I normally do, I drove like I normally do.”