All 33 winners of the FIA Formula One World Championship have been inducted into the new FIA Hall of Fame in Paris.
The inaugural ceremony was held in the library of the Automobile Club of France (ACF), where Formula One’s regulations were first drafted in the 1940s.
Contemporary drivers from the 21st century such as Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso were joined by legendary drivers of decades past including Sir Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti and Alain Prost, amongst many more.
Australians Alan Jones MBE and the late Sir Jack Brabham were also inducted into the FIA Hall of Fame, having recently being inducted into Australia’s Motor Sport Hall of Fame.
Father-and-son World Champions Graham and Damon Hill were among those to be inducted.
“It was always very difficult to get it through my head that I’d become a world champion at all, so the thrill continues, and it just an amazing honour to be included,” Hill said.
“You see the people who are here and the names mentioned – Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Sir Jackie Stewart and it’s hard to believe I’m in the same gang.
“So, congratulations to the FIA for instigating the Hall of Fame and thank you for including me.”
Fernando Alonso, who is aiming to pursue motor sport’s triple crown of Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500, and 24 Hours of Le Mans wins, was honoured to be amongst drivers he idolised as a youngster.
“I’m trying other series now and trying to imitate some of the idols I had when I was a kid,” Alonso said.
“The Indy 500 experience this year, maybe Le Mans in the future. President Todt mentioned that the Hall of Fame for endurance racing will be in 2019, so I have two years.”
Michael Schumacher’s long-time manager Sabine Kehm was on-hand to accept the award on his behalf, as Formula 1’s most successful driver of all time.
“We all know Michael should be here and I am totally sure he would love to be here,” Kehm said.
“He always had the highest respect for everyone in this room and he would be very honoured. What made Michael so special, what made him so successful was, as with everybody in this room, a love and passion for this sport.”
More information, including biographies on the first 33 drivers inducted, can be found at the FIA Hall of Fame website.
Published: 6 December, 2017