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World champion Vettel crowned as Kubica wins Personality of the Year
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Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Dec 2013   |  9:00 am GMT  |  107 comments

Sebastian Vettel collected his fourth world champions’ trophy last night at the FIA prizegiving gala in Paris, but one of the more heartwarming stories was Robert Kubica collecting the FIA Personality of the Year award, as voted by the media.

It was the first time that the FIA gala has featured awards given by popular vote.


Kubica won the B class of the World Rally Championship this year, overcoming the handicap of his arm injuries, which ended his Formula 1 career. The Pole won five of the seven nominated events this year to seal the title with one round remaining. This despite severing the median and ulnar nerves in his right arm three years ago in an accident in a minor rally when he was a Lotus F1 driver.

Vettel is on a tour of awards events, having amused his audience on Sunday night at the Autosport Awards in London; including mimicking FIA president Jean Todt and Red Bull Racing director Helmut Marko.

“What makes us strong is that we love what we do and we’re passionate about racing,” said Vettel last night.”This year was not an easy season, but to overcome that and give the answer on the track makes me very proud. I don’t have words to describe how incredible it is to retain the Drivers’ Championship for another year, I would like to say a huge thank you to the team and everyone who supported me.”


With an eye to the future, two kart racers were honoured. Max Verstappen, the son of former F1 racer Jos Verstappen, was double European Champion this year in KF and KZ, he was also the winner of the KZ World Championship. The KF title was won by Briton Tom Joyner.

The evening began with a film, made by Luc Besson, a friend of Todt’s, featuring the world champions in a heist spoof. Hopefully this will be posted on You Tube or the FIA website soon.

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107 Comments
  1. Jonathan says:

    I have to say I don’t think the absurdly under-dressed women add anything to the credibility of the occasion.

    1. That was my initial thought too. it would be interesting to know what the context was.

      1. Nick says:

        The ceremony takes place in Paris, no doubt they’re preformers from the Moulin Rouge or some other similar place.

        From what I’ve heard they’re very skilled dancers and are at the top of their profession. I guess its just a very French thing.

      2. Zhenya says:

        FIA was run by Mr X for more than 15 years. Taking into consideration all details that came out in March 2008, it’s not a surprise…

      3. Very good point!

        Maybe the ladies would wear something a little more hardcore if he were still in charge! :)

    2. Keith says:

      Couldn’t agree more – when is Formula 1 going to grow up about this.
      Also the relentless rows of smiling partially clothed women who usher the winner up to the rostrum after each race is an anachronism and offensive to any civilised gent.
      What women must think of it I can only guess.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Don’t be silly, women don’t watch F1.

        (before you shoot me yes that is sarcasm)

      2. Matt H says:

        Haha I nearly choked on my cereal reading this

      3. Tim says:

        Don’t be silly, women don’t watch F1…

        Well my wife does…
        Obviously, she has to finish the cooking and cleaning first. Then I allow her to bring the ironing into the lounge and she does that, whilst watching the race with me ;-)

      4. blowndiffuser says:

        Interestingly, some of my female friends say they would love to be one of the grid girls, while some others are appalled at the idea.

      5. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        I bet I know a few blokes who would don a bikini top, short skirt and carry a flag to get free access to a race with grid pass included. Save a good few thousand pounds that would ;)

      6. Random 79 says:

        @Clarks4WheelDrift

        Yes but unfortunately they’d scare away everyone else ;)

      7. Steve Zodiac says:

        Formula 1, all about fast cars and crumpet!!
        Oh no these days all about wimps and political correctness

      8. Keith says:

        Nothing wimp-ish or politically correct about wanting women on TV and in sport to be represented in a positive light and not as trophy decoration.
        As a father of two daughters I feel it strongly.
        If my daughter wanted to go into F1, I would want it to be as a driver/mechanic/team member and not as a something to look at.
        Hibab or short pants – its the same thing.
        We should treat each other equally regardless of gender.
        F1 is a world sport – it has a responsibility.
        Bit serious but there you go…………

      9. Sebee says:

        Keith,

        So you’re telling me that if your daughter had a chance to at same annual salary to either”

        Be a grid girl with short shorts and high heels, selected by FIA to hold the FIA or F1 flag at the front of the Grid and travel to the 19 races.

        Or

        Be a mechanic on the team, work long hours behind the scenes and all the challanges that come with that…

        You would actually want your daughter to be the mechanic? What if she wanted to be a grid girl? Would you disown her? Would you be ashamed that your daughter can make a living with her appearance? I guess all the super models being paid millions should just go into banking instead?

        Yuk! You’re right Steve, all this PC crap is making me gag.

      10. KGBVD says:

        ^ +1, Keith.

    3. luqa says:

      Yes, and the drivers all dressed as Waiters!. Did they have to serve the guests their food and drink before being given their awards?

    4. JOdum5 says:

      Lighten up.

      1. KGBVD says:

        Someone points out that one of the most global (and discriminatory) sports in the world continues to be unnecessarily sexist and your response is “lighten up”?

        Way to be part of the problem.

    5. Frank from Oz says:

      +1000 for above

    6. Condy says:

      There has to be a better way to celebrate winners than parading nearly naked women around as if a man’s achievements somehow “earn” him the right to a sex object. #everydaysexism

  2. Nathan says:

    This despite severing the median and ulnar nerves in his right arm three years ago in a minor rally accident when he was a Lotus F1 driver.

    It didn’t look like a minor accident for on the photos I saw…

    1. The rally was minor, not the accident.

  3. Random 79 says:

    Minor rally accident?

    Sure nobody died, but still…

  4. ‘A minor accident’? Surely Robert was lucky to survive it. I think this must be a typo, James…?

    1. archie says:

      It’s about the rally! It was a minor-rally accident.

  5. Spyros says:

    “…a minor rally accident…”? I assume you mean a ‘minor rally’ accident, rather than ‘a minor rally accident’ James!

  6. Budge says:

    What’s with the strippers?

    Seriously though, people will continue to view motorsport as a preserve of dull, socially inept men so long as the FIA keeps paying women to dress up and smile for the cameras. Even computer gaming is more mature now: most gaming events have banned so-called “booth-babes” in recent years.

    1. SteveS says:

      No sex please, we’re British. (James Hunt could not be reached for comment)

    2. Gord says:

      The female outfits are quite nice actually.

      1. Random 79 says:

        That’s your opinion – and you’re entitled to it – but personally I think they’re trying way too hard.

        It’s F1: If they feel the need to have some women purely for eye candy, why not some grid girls?

        Yes it’s still sexist but I reckon they would be way more attractive and more appropriate.

      2. Gord says:

        I think those women were performing some dance/performance during the gala.

      3. Random 79 says:

        So you think grid girls can’t dance?

    3. KGBVD says:

      Agreed, we may be missing context, but the burlesque seems a bit out of place, and unnecessarily chauvinistic.

  7. Veteran says:

    minor rally accident?
    You mean major right?

  8. justafan says:

    Now that Vettel has collected his 4th crown at the age of 26, do you think he can beat Schumacher’s world record of 7 crowns, James?

    1. James Allen says:

      Possibly. If he stays with Red Bull and Newey does too, then maybe!

      1. Random 79 says:

        Maybe even before he’s 30.

        I’m not sure what that would do more: Impress me or depress me :)

      2. F1racer says:

        Perhaps both

      3. Rockie says:

        James I don’t think he needs to stay with Redbull or Newey to achieve that after all Newey won nothing from ’00 to ’09.
        He has the luxury of going to any team that has the best car.

      4. Gazza says:

        Really…..?

        Newey isn’t a factor…?

        Why do the Vettel fans keep trying to diminish his role….?

        And if Ferrari end up with the best car do you really think they would drop Alonso just to accomadate Vettel, bearing in mind Seb as already ready stated he doesent fancy Fernanado as a team mate.

        Hardly.!!

      5. KGBVD says:

        ^ Yes Gazza,
        Newey didn’t win any championships from 2000 to 2010, back when Ferrari knew how to put together a contender.

        Another German seemed to do quite well for a while there without Newey…

        He doesn’t win everything, you know.

  9. Jock Ulah says:

    The women’s outfits are fantastic –
    primarily made from obsolete Ferrari-Red flow-viz threads.

    Obviously Red Bull taking the mickey out of their competitor’s wind-tunnel issues.

  10. Gwion Daniel says:

    Is there a website where all of the FIA gala season review videos are posted? I have come across a few online occasionally, and thought the 2010 video in particular was excellent!

  11. Sebee says:

    Wonder if Vettel wore the same tuxedo for the last 4 years because it’s lucky?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Nah. He would have worn the same lucky undies four years in a row except after India there were a lot of skidmarks.

      Take that any way you like :)

  12. Andrew M says:

    ”This year was not an easy season”

    Hmmmm

    1. F1racer says:

      It’s never easy to win nine in a row in one season, isn’t it? Doesn’t happen too often, that is.

      1. Andrew M says:

        There was only one race in that sequence (Japan) where he was even remotely challenged. Just because it was rare doesn’t mean it was difficult.

      2. James says:

        Agreed, Red Bull just turn up on Fridays , flick the car on, win the race and go home. No work needed at all. Easiest job in the world being a RB employee, they just play solitaire all week at the factory.

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Maybe he means the first half was not easy?

      Maybe he means Malaysia and the subsequent booing was not easy?

      Maybe he means the second half of the season, you know when your car is so good you get so far ahead and have to drive at 85 percent, keeping focus is not easy?

      Maybe picking a new helmet design for every race is not easy?

      Maybe not gaining enough honour or respect to be invited to a group shot with Mark, Robert and Fernando is not easy?

      Maybe doing loadsa donuts without stalling is not easy?

  13. Grabsplatter says:

    It speaks volumes that us mortals may only watch on YouTube.

    Any sport that cared about it’s supporters would not hold such an event behind locked doors.

    Time those in charge we made aware of how bad this looks.

    1. Sebee says:

      Honestly, what would we add to it?

      1. Noise.
      2. Mr. Vettel, can I have a photo?
      3. $1000 per plate admission.
      4. Look, Horner…Booo.

      Can the power brokers have a little party all to themselves after throwing us 19 over the season?

  14. jim says:

    Looks like it was held @ a circa 1976 Vegas casino. No good…

    1. Rich C says:

      Its Paris, they can look however they like!

    2. AuraF1 says:

      If it was held in a 1976 Vegas casino Kimi would DEFINITELY want to show up…

      1. Martin says:

        Probably not invited as he didn’t come in the top three… whether he could be bothered to gate crash it.

  15. Luke says:

    I must admit that I’ve been concerned about the portrayal of women in F1 for some time now. That picture is the worst yet. We’ll never get a female driver if they continue to be portrayed as sex objects only by the FIA.

    1. James Allen says:

      As far as I know they aren’t members of the Women in Motorsport commission!

    2. AuraF1 says:

      If they can only put on events that look like they’re from a very low budget Bond movie rip off from the early 70s it’s not going to be particularly equality minded. Should have gotten Kimi drunk enough to show up in high heels and a sheer dress while he slurred Nordic insults at the worlds media. ‘Yes, yes, yes, leave me alone, I know what I’m wearing…’

      1. Random 79 says:

        So now we have a 70′s Bond film set in a 70′s Vegas casino starring drunk Kimi wearing heels and a sheer dress.

        Can’t wait to see the box office takings for that one ;)

      2. AuraF1 says:

        I’d watch it. I’m sure Kimi wouldn’t give a s*@t…

    3. Sebee says:

      Oh please. Women understand the power they hold. Why are you making them into victims? These women got their 1000 Euro event fee for walking onto a stage. Don’t be jealous they don’t have to work hard for it. Everyone here is trying to act so PC it makes me puke. Let us grow up a bit.

      These are women, not babies. They have brains. And if everyone who commented about women on this page like they are weak vitims had any brains too they would realize that all these men w “idolize” are building these race cars and going out there each GP to do what exactly? That’s right, impress a woman!

      1. AuraF1 says:

        It’s making you sick that people find the archaic sexism of a modern sport a trifle pathetic? Grow up a bit. It’s not treating women like babies to say that they are treated like objects. That’s not making them into victims it’s saying everyone is lessened a bit when the sport builds such an outmoded expression. They used to have exclusively black butlers in some of the early GPs – maybe they were well paid but you wouldn’t say ‘oh all these black guys know their power, white people love to watch a black guy serving drinks, you people make me sick.’

        You are normally a very interesting commentator on this site. I won’t say your comment made me sick because that’s rather childish hyperbole – but it did come across as rather beneath you.

      2. Sebee says:

        AuraF1….it’s called entertainment. It’s called pizzazz. You are confusing sexism with something else.

        Would you be happier if those women were digging a ditch somewhere instead? This is what they want to do. They are adults. They are probably on a day off from their normal show somewhere in Paris. Would you go to their weekly show and call th sexist?

        PC is getting out of control. As for your comment about black buttlers…what should the company hired to cater and serve at this event do today? Should they hire white guys only? Seniors or under 35? Or anyone who wants a job and applies? Should Vettel feel bad when an black guy refills his water at the table just because that guy wanted a job? As I said…PC is out of control!

        Please Aura, tell me what you would rather have these women do for a living in your utopian world, where everyone wears a turtleneck.

  16. Richard says:

    For the people who haven’t found it yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPVA5c9z1jI
    the autosports awards video

    1. MISTER says:

      I have read a few articles in the media about the funny impressions that Vettel did at the awards, but is it only me who doesn’t like them? I didn’t find them funny at all.

      I’ve started to warm up to Vettel, but statements like “this year was not an easy season..” make me scream and say “shut the f*#k up”. It’s like he tries to make us believe that he had a hard time on the track, fighting with others and the result was very unpredictable.
      Really annoying and I wish he would stop it and embrace what he has..a great car, a good team and great skill.

      1. Ollie says:

        You’ll need to read between the lines. He isen’t talking about the on-track bit.

      2. Angelina says:

        +1

      3. H.Guderian says:

        +1.000 8-)

      4. john3voltas says:

        I have never hidden that I am a Ferrari fan. Though, not fond of Alonso and haven’t been Massa’s biggest fan for the past 3 years.
        I should be against Vettel/RBR but reading your post made me think otherwise.
        Indeed Vettel had what seemed to be an easy season for us mere fans and TV audience.
        But in fact his teammate on a similar car finished the championship in 3rd, more than 40 points behind Alonso.
        Vettel scored roughly 200 points ahead of his teammate. 200!! That mustn’t have been easy if you ask me.
        So I don’t like boring championships like this where championships are decided by tyre suppliers and races won right after the 1st corner but I must admit that what Vettel did this year is not easy. Heck, maybe not even Michael Schumacher (da man) would have won it with such a difference to everybody else.
        Sorry but it’s my most honest opinion.

      5. db4tim says:

        The other honest part of the equation ..MW had his chances sabotaged by his own team so Vettel could win, there I said what many thing to be fact.

      6. Snailtrail says:

        Everything you typed can actually support that Vettel had an easy year…

      7. F1racer says:

        Very good comment. As a Ferrari supporter I wait for the day Vettel joins the scuderia. Although I like Alonso I have lost some faith in him over the last years. Not sure he can do the job of bringing Ferrari to the top in a way Lauda or Schumacher did. He’s certainly got the talent however what he’s missing is the dedication to hard work. And he’s lacking Schumacher’s outright speed too, even more so in qualifying than in the races.

      8. john3voltas says:

        @db4tim
        What MW’s real chances did the team sabotage??
        Mark has to admit that he is an awful starter in a sport that starting ahead is very important. Then in 1 race the team asked SV to stay put behind MW. But he didn’t…
        Can’t honestly see any sabotage from the team.

        @Snailtrail
        What? Is it easy to outscore your teammate by ~200 points??
        IMHO if SV had an easy season it could well be because he worked hard on every track and he was much better than his opponents. And that’s not his fault.
        But I could be looking at a glass half full of water while you see a glass half empty…

      9. Rockie says:

        “I’ve started to warm up to Vettel, but statements like “this year was not an easy season..” make me scream and say “shut the f*#k up”.”
        This is the problem, you think the RB9 is a super car all that is needed is to turn up at the weekend, not thinking about the hard work they put in together as a team each weekend!

      10. MISTER says:

        What’s my statement about Vettel’s quote got to do with the car?

        Also, RB9 is the fastest car. Full stop.
        Yeah, RBR is a great team, and I said that in my comment above, so what was your point again?

      11. Rockie says:

        My point is its not as easy at it looks after all Webber had the same car and couldn’t beat the slower Ferrari as it is regularly described only time the redbull is described as a rocketship is with Vettel behind the wheel its not rocket science!

      12. MISTER says:

        Really? Do you really think Webber had the same car and oportunity as Vettel in that RB9? I don’t share that.

        And just look how easy Webber overtook Alonso twice in Brasil. And as far as I know, Alonso is pretty hard to overtake.

        In the end, Vettel is a much better driver than Webber, therefore his performances would be much better. Just read the opinion of Mark Gillan and Gary Anderson about which was the fastest car and then try to convince me otherwise.

      13. MISTER says:

        Ohh, btw, to be fair, I would compare Alonso’s results with Vettel and Massa’s with Webber. No 1 drivers with No 2 drivers.
        And I’m pretty sure you will get to the same result as I mentioned earlier..which is that RB9 was a much much better car.

  17. TimW says:

    Nice pic of Seb getting his award from Jean Todt and two unknown members of the FIA senate.

    1. Zhenya says:

      Did the FIA senate inform Sebastian Vettel and Jean Todt how to dress properly for the occasion?

      1. Random 79 says:

        Yes, but they chose to forgo the matching outfits and instead elected to wear suits.

        Thank goodness I say.

  18. Rich C says:

    That girl’s legs are longer than Jean Todt!

  19. AuraF1 says:

    Er James are you sure it should say ‘injuries Kubica suffered in a MINOR rallying accident’? It looked fairly major to me…

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Or did you mean it was a minor rally event when he severed his arm?

    2. James Allen says:

      Badly phrased. Re worded now thanks

  20. Ashish Sharma says:

    The highlights have made it to the FIA website http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2013/12/15333.html .

  21. Anil says:

    It’s a shame that the handing over of the trophy is done at an event way after the season’s end :/ Seems so anti-climatic and different to every other sport where the team can celebrate and receive their medals in front of the fans.

  22. Random 79 says:

    We wonder why the FIA makes so much but the teams never see much of it.

    FIA Guy 1: So we made…20 billion dollars this year. :)

    FIA Guy 2: Cool, we should hire a couple of strippers for the awards. :D

    FIA Guy 1: But what about the teams? Shouldn’t we be allocating a larger portion of our annual income to ensure all the teams can survive and compete at the highest possible level? :(

    FIA Guy 2: Nah, I’m sure they’ll be fine. :)

  23. Stephen Taylor says:

    James , a bit off topic but how long is the contract for the race in Austria at Red Bull Ring?

    1. db4tim says:

      I thought the report said 4 years

    2. Ed says:

      About 15 pages. Bernie, in his old age, is getting stingy with the printer paper. ;)

  24. Mike P says:

    Dancing girls !!!!!! Woooosh, what was that? It’s surely the sound of the FIA’s / Formula 1 credibility flying out the window.

    They say “that Formula 1 is a circus”, but it’s all starting to get a little ridiculous!!!

    I know that the Monaco GP has had it’s fair share of diamond encrusted Helmet’s, but really Bernard (or should we now start calling you Willard Whyte) we’e in 2013, and not back in the 70′s on the set of “Diamonds are Forever”.

    I don’t think a single photo has ever shown in such graphic detail how out of touch the FIA and poor old Willard really are with reality (and more importantly the racing public).

    Somebody please get Mr Whyte’s shawl and slippers, that revolving door obviously confused the old chap more than we all thought.

    Now somebody please find “Bamby” and “Thumper” for Mr Whyte.

  25. Stephen Kellett says:

    Oh good grief. Why oh Why?

    The men are dressed smartly and the women are dressed as sex objects. That really sends the right message doesn’t it?

    There is a time and a place for erotic dress and award ceremonies are not such a time.

    When will F1 (and the FIA) start taking women seriously?

  26. Stephen Kellett says:

    I’ve just showed this photo to my girlfriend. Her single word response: “Shallow”.

  27. Il Leone says:

    James, why don’t the FIA televise this gala? Fans around the world would love to see the WDC and the WCC pick up their trophies live.

    1. James Allen says:

      I agree. It’s a real missed opportunity

  28. richardc says:

    Seeing Jon Todt giving SV a trophy makes me cringe. After finding out this week how the prize money is distributed it is nothing short of criminal!With a fund of £161.000000 it is no surprise they do well……..mind you Ferrari got £171.000000!
    This is a disgrace and to think that Max M wanted to cap the costs before handing over the reigns to Todt. After this year the FIA have now changed a fan(20 yrs) who no longer wishes to be associated with this sport. I find RED BULL racing vile and how they can smugly smile into the camera lense whilst knowing how they have won is a disgrace and total lack of respect to a once fantastic sport!!

    1. Bartholomew says:

      Red Bull Racing might have a big budget, but they are simply the best team, who built the best car, and have the best driver. Nothing “vile” about that.

  29. Man in a white coat says:

    We just concluded a scientific research done by men in white coats in a secret laboratory.

    The result was: 97.6% of the people whining about the sexy girls with not much clothes on are politically correct British men. 2.4% are jealous women.

    Also, 100% of those sexy women with not much clothes on were not forced to do it. In fact they begged to get the job and got money for it because it is a job.

    1. Tim says:

      If you donated your white coats to the sexy girls with not much clothes on, they would then be perfectly attired for their role in the kitchen after the award ceremony. They would also match the appliances – unless they were stainless steel of course ;-)

  30. Delgado says:

    A big THANK YOU to all those (Motorsport journalists?) who voted for Robert Kubica!

  31. Paul D says:

    Don’t worry, I’m sure when a female wins the World Championship they’ll put some Chippendales up there.

  32. JohnH says:

    It’s about time F1 dropped the scantily clad women. It does not need them, F1 does need female mechanics and drivers.

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