NOVEMBER 27, 2007
Awards ceremonies everywhere
At this time of year Formula 1 folk are much in demand at any number of award ceremonies across Europe. The FIA is the only organisation that has the right to demand that drivers attend but the Autosport Awards in London is often seen as the biggest event and best-attended. This year the Awards, started 26 years ago, will be televised for the first time, thanks almost certainly to the fact that Lewis Hamilton is stirring up F1 interest in the UK. The broadcast will go out at 11.20pm on Tuesday, December 4 on ITV1. That is not exactly prime time but it is a big step forward for the Awards. Formula 1 viewing figures in Britain have jumped by 40% this year and this means that ITV is confident that it can find advertising to support the show which will have the usual awards for various different categories and a series of lifetime awards. There will also be the annual McLaren Autosport BRDC Award for the best young hope for the future.
The Autosport Awards will be followed a few days later by the FIA Prizegiving in Monte Carlo at which all the big players have to be present to collect their trophies.
One can argue that it might be a good idea for all the various big championships and prizegiving organisers to get together to try to create one single super-exclusive event for the world of motorsport to create a real version of the motorsport Oscars, but thus far parochialism and vested interest has always stood in the way. The FIA likes to fill its prizegiving with the men in the blazers, the British like to dominate the Autosport event and over in America the likes of NASCAR and Champ Car are happy doing their own thing.
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