The progression of drivers from the Formula Renault Northern European Cup to higher levels of international motorsport was further cemented last night [3rd December], as both 2016 champion Lando Norris and 2017 competitor Daniel Ticktum were celebrated at the annual Autosport Awards.
Norris, who has added titles in the Formula Renault Eurocup and the FIA European F3 Championship to his record since graduating from the NEC in 2016, was named the British National Racing Driver of the Year and also received a nomination for Rookie of the Year after taking 9 victories and 20 podium finishes en route to a rookie title.
Red Bull Junior Ticktum, who recently won the coveted Macau GP, took a podium finish on his debut in the NEC at the Nurburgring back in September, followed in the footsteps of legends such as Ayrton Senna, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton in being named the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award recipient for 2017.
He will now follow in Norris’ footsteps and test a McLaren Formula 1 car, an opportunity that has seen the former earn a recent promotion to the role of official Test and Reserve Driver at the Woking-based team.
Ticktum will also have the opportunity to join the McLaren Young Driver Programme for 2018.
“I had an amazing weekend in Macau and this has exceeded that,” said Ticktum.
“I cannot put into words how proud I am to have won this award. It has been an incredible experience right from the outset. The two days [of assessment] were incredibly difficult and having to wait six weeks to find out the winner was agonising to say the least.”
The award put each of the four finalists, including British F3 champion Enaam Ahmed, Euroformula Open series winner Harrison Scott and Formula Renault Eurocup/NEC competitor Max Fewtrell through their paces in a range of machinery along with simulator and fitness assessments.
Other winners at the event, such as four-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and new-for-2018 Sauber Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc, both developed their skills in Formula Renault machinery on their way to the pinnacle of motorsport, underlining the potential of the car to help bring drivers through into international motorsport.
The Autosport Awards are held every December at Grosvenor House in London, bringing together the motorsport and automotive community in an annual celebration, attended by some of the biggest names in the sport.