The now traditional end of season Prize Giving Ceremony was held once again at the prestigious Luna Lounge, located in the heart of the Yas Marina Circuit, with the teams, drivers and media arriving for a rare opportunity to get together with their rivals and friends to enjoy themselves over dinner and drinks together and celebrate another fantastic season in the Series.
Flawlessly hosted by GP3 commentator Alex Jacques, the ceremony got under way with a video recap of the highlights of the season and trophies for third placed driver Nirei Fukuzumi, with Andreas Jenzer picking up the trophy on behalf of his team for before the first of the nights Dallara Awards, with Dorian Boccolacci picking up the Best Helmet Design despite forgetting to bring it along to show it off, and Trident’s PR head Gaia Guerini collected another for Best Team Spirit.
Next came an emotional moment for many in the paddock when championship CEO Bruno Michel came on stage to present a Special Dallara Award to Penny Whitaker, who was retiring after almost 29 years in the support paddock arranging paddock access, passes, communication of stewards decisions and so much more. We will all miss her smiling face, and wish her well for the future.
The ceremony then moved on to the second placed team, collected by Trident’s team manager Giacomo Ricci, and driver, with Jack Aitken bounding on stage to grab his trophy, before some more Dallara Awards. The Best Rookie award unsurprisingly went to George Russell, with Best Race Win voted on by the team principals and GP3 staff going to a delighted Arjun Maini for his win in Barcelona.
And then it was time for the big ones: Team and Driver Champions. Sébastien Philippe once again collected the trophy on behalf of ART, with his driver George Russell delighted to collect his trophy, along with a giant cheque presented by Head of Car Racing Mario Isola for €200,000 from Pirelli to go towards a seat in Formula 2 next season. After a few words all of the award winners returned to the stage for some final photos and then it was time for more music, drinks, and parties long into the night!