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Vettel retains International Driver title

ESPNF1 Staff
December 5, 2011 « Ogier wins Race of Champions | RRA was doomed - Ecclestone »
Sebastian Vettel made it from the Race of Champions in Dusseldorf on Sunday night to pick up his award in London © Sutton Images
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Sebastian Vettel was named the International Driver of the Year at the Autosport Awards for the second time in succession.

Sunday night's awards at London's Grosvenor House Hotel saw Vettel retain the title after securing back-to-back world championships to become the youngest ever double world champion. Vettel is well known for his interest in Formula One history and said that being recognised by past and present drivers was a proud moment.

"I don't know where to start to be honest," Vettel said. "Last year was my first time picking up one of these trophies, and it means a lot. I felt very honoured when I walked down the stairs and everyone, including lots of past and present racing drivers, were clapping, giving me appreciation and respect for what I have achieved. It made me feel very special."

It was a successful evening for Red Bull, with the RB7 also named Racing Car of the Year. Jenson Button won the British Competition Driver of the Year award while Paul di Resta was voted Rookie of the Year.

Damon Hill picked up a Gregor Grant Award for lifetime achievement, as did Dan Wheldon who was posthumously recognised after being killed in an IndyCar accident earlier this year. Wheldon's father Clive accepted the award on behalf of the two-time Indy 500 winner, and gave his thanks for the support his family has received.

"From my heart I'd like to say a special thank you to our friends, family and to everyone for what they have done for our family in the last few weeks," Wheldon said. "My memories of Dan in his early days, when we travelled round the country and I was chef, mechanic, are ones I will treasure for the rest of my life."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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