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Verstappen wins prestigious sports award
ZANDVOORT - Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen cheers after winning the Dutch Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit. REMKO DE WAAL (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)

Verstappen named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year

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Current World Champion Max Verstappen named the 2022 Laureus World Sportsman of the year following last season’s success.

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Today the Red Bull driver was named the winner of the prestigious Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award. Verstappen becomes the fourth Formula 1 driver to receive such an accolade.

Previous winners being Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel as well as last year’s championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

The award comes after Verstappen’s incredible 2021 campaign.

During the season the Dutch driver claimed 10 pole positions and 10 victories. As well as breaking the record for the most podiums in one season, with 18 trips to the podium. All of which contributed to the Dutchman’s First World Championship. Making him the first-ever Dutch driver to win a World Championship.

Verstappen beat many sporting icons to be crowned the World Sportsman of the Year 2022. Nominees include American footballer Tom Brady, Poland International and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, Olympic swimmer Caeleb Dressel and tennis star Novak Djokovic.

Acceptance Speech

Verstappen took to social media to thank Red Bull Racing for their “incredible support” as well as giving “a special thank you” to his dad for “everything he did

In his acceptance video, Verstappen thanked “everyone voting for [him] from the Laureus Academy”

The Dutchman commented on his championship-winning season saying it was “A very special year, a very hectic year because the pressure was always on. I couldn’t do this without the team behind me, the people back at the factory. It was an incredible effort that we won the championship.”

Verstappen then moved on to thank his dad, Jos Verstappen saying “I appreciate every moment we share together in this success story and hopefully many more to come.”

Reminiscing on Abu Dhabi Verstappen commented, “I was very happy, of course, but it was a lot of hard work and years of preparation.” Going on to say “I’m incredibly proud. Since I was a little kid I was dreaming of being on the top step and winning the championship”

The Red Bull Driver concludes his speech by saying “Afterwards, I said to my dad ‘We did it, this is what we worked for all these years and now we are here, the two of us, all the memories, all the years of travelling all over Europe, going for that one goal and we achieved it.”

Mercedes miss out

Mercedes were also nominated for the Team of the Year award. They were pipped to the post however by the Men’s Italian National Football team. Hamilton’s close friend and MotoGP star Valentino Rossi did however claim the Sporting Icon Award. This comes after Rossi retired at the end of the 2021 season after taking seven MotoGP titles.

Head Image Credit: Getty Images

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