Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel journeyed to Italy on Sunday to receive the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy in recognition of his outstanding performances last year with Toro Rosso. The award is given annually by the Italian village of Brisighella, in memory of local driver Bandini, who was killed at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix.
During his first full Formula One season, Vettel clinched a stunning wet-weather victory at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix and finished eighth in the championship standings with 35 points.
Rather than being driven to the event, Vettel chose to drive himself, getting behind the wheel of the Toro Rosso Formula One car for the 12-kilometre journey from the Italian team’s factory in Faenza to Brisighella. With the roads remaining open, Vettel enjoyed the unusual experience of weaving in and out of normal traffic, with his police escort.
Once he arrived at the Italian village, local dignitaries and members of the Bandini family were on hand to present the trophy. Also in attendance was the mayor of Vettel’s home town in Germany, Heppenheim, who had an additional award for the driver - a pair of personalised road car number plates, which read HPSV1.
Previous recipients of the Bandini trophy include Felipe Massa, Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen, Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher and Robert Kubica.