Awards time is upon us! With the season having just ended like it did, you might be under the impression that there’s not much to celebrate.
Much like every other year at Hollywood, the offer might be a little disappointing but with a little humour (read sarcasm, so beware) I’m sure I can dig out enough material to print out a few diplomas.
But who will they go to? Put your dress pants on, go grab a bubbly drink, take your seat in our virtual audience and…
Welcome to the 2015 edition of the F1 Oscars, hosted by yours truly and sponsored by the Quartz Watch-wearing Society. Enjoy your evening and cheer responsibly!
Best Actor In A Leading Role: Lewis Hamilton
Unpredictable nominations might be my thing but tricky to do when someone dominated the year like Lewis and Mercedes did. A leading role it was but Hollywood would be disappointed with the lack of booms, blasts and number of twists in the plot. Then again, the sequel is often less entertaining anyway.
Best Actress In A Leading Role: Carmen Jorda
She might as well have been an actress considering how much airtime she got this year. I’d estimate that it was more than the rest of the reserve drivers put together, but if you ask me to name them all, I couldn’t. But I can tell who’ll be getting a restraining order this Christmas!
Best Actor In A Supporting Role: Maurizio Arrivabene
Would have been painful to award this to Nico Rosberg after the end of season he’s had, so the next nomination goes to the one team principal who signed more autographs and took more selfies than his own drivers.
Closely supportive (often literally) with his drivers, he was also a PR delight in front of the cameras. Well, with some exceptions.
The 27 Dresses Award: Nico Rosberg
For non-connoisseurs of Katherine Heigl’s esteemed body of work, the 27 refers to bridesmaid dresses, so I think you get where I’m coming from. Nico has been the perpetual bridesmaid for two years now, with a few exceptions, to the point of being the second most successful driver without a world title. Will he correct that statistic before Ferrari catch up?
Best Third Wheel Award: Sebastian Vettel
As the persistent third wheel in the Mercedes soap opera unfolding over the season, Sebastian joyfully interfered on both Saturday afternoon brunch dates and podium serenades – pleasantly for us, less so for the grumpy Silver Arrows duo who often seemed confused by the concept of humour and occasionally irritated by some slight opposition on track.
imnotathirdwheel (check it out!)
The Perpetual Hangover Award: Fernando Alonso
I’m not saying that he drove like a drunk man (ironically, Pastor Maldonado might disagree), but instead I somehow think he wouldn’t have minded a little memory loss to kick in more towards the end of the season instead of during pre-season testing.
Something to give him an excuse to forget to show up after the summer break. There’s only a limited amount of times you can say “I don’t regret a thing” before you wipe off a journalist’s smirk with your scarcely branded water bottle.
The Maddest Mad Max Impersonation: Max Verstappen
In which ‘Mad’ is meant as a term of endearment, as appreciation for the entertainment services provided during the course of this year. As much as I first debated his young age, he proved his worth and maturity – small rookie mistakes forgiven. It would have been a much poorer season (as difficult as that might be to imagine) without him.
Most Recyclable Headline Act: Kimi Raikkonen
Slow news day? You have a quota of articles to post per day? Alonso fan? Go ahead and fire up the one headline you can use and abuse to no end: who will replace Kimi and why it hasn’t happened yet.
Regardless of arguments, I know of few (ie, not one) sports that approach their arguably most popular star this way (all the while aggressively pushing for Jenson Button to get another year in a mediocre – at best – car).
The Benny Hill Variety Show Graduates: Red Bull Academy
The four Red Bull drivers didn’t have the easiest of years, but didn’t miss an opportunity to have fun. Between the surprisingly well-synchronised and obviously rehearsed rain dance at COTA and the various giggle-filled Toro Rosso videos, they sweetened their fans’ pain somewhat. Maybe not quite matching the energy drink’s former reputation as the paddock clowns though.
The Selfish Gene Distinction: Lewis Hamilton
It doesn’t take Dawkins to get this one. After Nico dared to accuse Lewis of being selfish in China, the freshly discovered blond spent the last (and mostly irrelevant) part of the season accusing his team of being too helpful with his teammate.
It was ‘me me me!’ all the way to paradoxical results. I wonder if he’s giving his pal Valentino Rossi a call over winter to see if he can use his notorious contractor services?
Best Foreign Language Actor: Sebastian Vettel
The new Ferrari recruit gathered some confidence as podiums multiplied and frequently tested his language skills on the radio. He’s getting better at being an Italiano vero so here’s an encouragement award for his effort and enthusiasm.
Best Barnet Bestowal: Nico Hulkenberg
Did you seriously expect any other winner? The only other nominee was Carlos, who in the right angle looks like an 80’s Hasselhoff. But Nico’s undisturbed quiff got as much attention as his 24-hour adventures on French land. See, we can be patronising about men too.
Best Bonnie & Clyde Impersonation: Kimi Raikkonen & Valtteri Bottas
Their frequent and often naughty encounters got people talking but, disappointingly for the media, it also got very few headlines written, as statements from the two Finns are as difficult to find as real quotes from Clyde himself. It is what it is, it will happen again and we’re thinking of next year already.
Worst Bonnie & Clyde Impersonation: Kendall Jenner & Lewis Hamilton
The luxury bad boy and the Chanel princess were spotted exchanging a symbolic gold chain in the Mercedes garage in Monaco. Like, you know, any contemporary love story. But as gangsta as the bling might look, Clyde don’t do private planes and yacht parties.
The Winnie the Pooh Award for Outstanding Rivalry: Felipe Massa & Daniel Ricciardo
And a tiny trophy for Felipinho too, since the cheerful trio were a social media delight, taking selfies, fooling around and gluing stickers to each other’s cars. Fierce rivals they might be on track, but quite adorable off it – my sort of ‘characters’ in sport.
The Kimi Raikkonen Badge of Honour: Bradley Joyce
The Hulk got silenced in true Kimi fashion by his own race engineer during the qualifying session at the Mexican GP, albeit with a little less blasé calm. To be fair, the media riot on track led to an impressive number of nominations, including Lewis and Nico, but, exceptionally, not the Finn himself.
The Franco-Austrian Telenovela Award: Red Bull – Renault
A relationship that has turned rapidly into a soap opera. One of those where people divorce the day after the wedding, squabble over the school fence and send their kids late for school with no lunch box.
And just when you thought things were setting down, bang came a new twist in the tale. Like any serious telenovela, it’s gone way past its expiry date.
The Battleship Conundrum Award: Mercedes F1
No one can truly imagine what Mercedes strategists went through this year. Between Lewis’ blunder in Monaco and his rogue tendencies towards the end of the year, added to the public pressure to ‘make a show’ and ‘make justice for Lewis’, they sure had a busy season. Let’s hope it’s just warm-up for next year, when others start pushing from behind.
Worst Musical Chairs Game: Sauber F1
In the lack of a proper silly season, Sauber took it upon themselves to create some headlines with a complicated game of musical seats and a handful of contracted drivers. Seeing as their team principal is a lawyer, it’s only appropriate that the music stopped playing in court. Bottom line, nobody really knew how to play.
Most Boring Law & Order Episode: The Lotus Position
Now you see it, now you don’t. And most often because there’s a policeman covering the entry. The sad financial situation in F1 generally is not really joke material, but what else is there left to do? It’s not an easy situation for the guys in the garage who often had to do their work at double speed and perhaps half the money.
The 10th Time Unlucky Achievement: McLaren F1
The crowned kings of the 10 place grid penalty, multiplied on many occasions, with a personal best of over 200 in just one weekend. I’m surprised Bernie didn’t consider calling the Guinness Book of Records at some point, just imagine the publicity!
Best Documentary Short: #PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe
The imaginary adventures of everybody’s favourite backmarker fired up social media ahead of the BrazilianGP. Twitter’s McMike came up with the plot, dozens have played along and here you can find a selection of the best.
The VR46 Badge of Honour for the Best Fanclub Leaders: Sky F1
They’re still rookies at this fanaticism stuff but actively working to fix that. They went to great extents this year to defend Lewis’ interests, anything short of going into Nico’s garage to shout at him. Martin did manage to sneak in some accusations on the podium in Brazil, a sure sign of evolution. I wonder if they’re doing it to get a discount at the gold shop?
The Steven Spielberg Award for Best Original Screenplay: US GP
A lot of weather-related drama, a touch of championship jitters, quite a lot of unpredictable action that ended in completely predictable fashion. All in all, it was reasonable blockbuster-style entertainment, even though the TV producer might have cursed the snooze-inducing lighting conditions. Then again, Jurassic Park isn’t known for its sun-filled panoramas either.
And with that box office hit ends this year’s edition of the F1 Oscars. I hope you’ve had a great time and that whatever drink you chose kept you awake and sober long enough to read this. Now off to the afterparty…