Whereas different main sporting occasions – such because the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Superbowl – culminate within the silverware being handed out on the finish of the occasion, F1 has all the time accomplished issues in another way.
Its laws have lengthy stipulated that the champions are solely topped on the FIA Prize Gala which takes place on the finish of the season. It’s obligatory for drivers that completed within the high three of the standings to attend.
F1’s booming viewers and need to draw new followers has prompted some requires a change of strategy – and that the trophy will get given out to the motive force on the night time that when the title is secured.
Had been this in place now, then Max Verstappen would have gotten his palms on the award in Qatar on Saturday night time after he lastly put the 2023 title to mattress.
However FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has poured chilly water on the thought of a change of strategy and says there are superb the explanation why the F1 champion should wait.
Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing, 2nd place and 2023 drivers world champion, receives his Dash race trophy from Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA
Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Specifically, he thinks having the F1 champion solely topped there makes it a particular night time for different FIA winners – and helps encourage the following era of expertise.
“It is the night time of the champions,” he instructed chosen media, together with Motorsport.com, in Qatar. “After I first gained my [Middle East Rally] championship, you don’t have any thought earlier than concerning the sleepless night time earlier than going to France, to be at Paris, to go to the Concorde and to be given a trophy.
“Even now I really feel my hairs [on my arm] standing up, as a result of I keep in mind that I used to be so younger, I used to be 25-years-old.
“To go there’s what you dream of, and that is how the opposite kids additionally have a look at it.
“It’s the night time of the champions the place the younger individuals can see the winner, the champion of F1. And that is the idol for them. Would you like me to ensure the dream would not come true? No.”
Ben Sulayem believed that handing out the F1 trophy in the way in which it has all the time been accomplished added to its historic legacy.
Talking in opposition to the backdrop of tensions between the FIA and FOM over Andretti’s bid to hitch the F1 grid, Ben Sulayem stated grand prix racing’s relevance remained as sturdy as ever.
“All this speak of a break up and we go to courtroom – after which what would occur – create one other championship that is hole? That does not have [Juan-Manuel] Fangio? Would not have Michael Schumacher? Would not have all of those winners.
“In case you are a driver, you need to be like somebody. So, to them, to return to that day, of the night time of the champions, imagine me, it is a dream to them.
“I see your level, however we give them one thing and we give one thing massive.”
Verstappen himself stated that he was not too fussed about having to attend to get his palms on the drivers’ trophy – particularly as a result of he already had two replicas.
“It’s OK, they appear the identical,” he stated. “I’ve two at dwelling so they are not altering. It is only one further identify on it. However it’s OK, I can wait slightly bit. Yeah, I received one subsequent to my sim rig and one subsequent to the TV.”