Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has been named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year 2022 at the Laureus Awards.
The Laureus World Sports Awards are international sports awards that are presented annually to athletes from all disciplines who have made an impact on sport in the previous year. Athletes such as Lionel Messi in football, Roger Federer in tennis and F1 drivers Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have previously received this award.
The 24-year-old Red Bull driver – who won Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – took 10 pole positions, 10 wins and a record 18 podiums last season en route to the first World Championship title won by a Dutch driver. Other candidates for the Laureus 2022 title were Tom Brady, Novak Djokovic, Caeleb Dressel and Robert Lewandowski.
After the announcement of the award, Max Verstappen said, “I am very happy, of course, but it was a lot of hard work and years of preparation. I am incredibly proud.”
“Since I was a little boy I dreamed of being on the top step and winning the championship. I told my father [former Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen]: ‘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, we were aiming for this one goal and we achieved it.”
“I’m the first Dutch driver to win a world championship,” added Max Verstappen, “so the reaction in the Netherlands has been incredible from all the newspapers and all the fans, it’s something we will never forget. It means a lot to be recognised for this award, one of the biggest in the world, so I’m incredibly happy.”
British tennis star Emma Raducanu won the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award after winning the 2021 US Open and Valentino Rossi won the Laureus Sporting Icon Award, having retired from motorbike racing at the end of last season. Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah was named Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.
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