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Verstappen caps off dream Imola weekend by landing prestigious award

Max Verstappen has been named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for 2022, after beating Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship crown.

Max Verstappen has become only the fourth F1 driver to be named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, capping off a dream weekend at Imola. The 24-year-old World Champion was named as the first Dutch winner of the prestigious award only hours after turning Sprint glory into a race win at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. As a result, Verstappen has closed the gap to leader Charles Leclerc in the World Championship standings. He becomes the fourth F1 driver - after Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher - to land the accolade and joins the likes of Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt and Rafael Nadal on a star-studded list of former recipients.

Verstappen: Award represents years of hard work

"I was very happy, of course, but it was a lot of hard work and years of preparation," said Verstappen, upon receiving the award. "I'm incredibly proud. Since I was a little kid I dreamt of being on the top step and winning the championship. "I said to my dad, '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, going for that one goal and we achieved it'. "I'm the first Dutch driver to win the World Championship, so the reaction back in Holland was amazing from all the newspapers and fans. It's something we'll never forget. "It means a lot to be recognised for this award, one of the highest ones in the world, so I'm incredibly happy."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying