June.06 – The Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg traveled to Italy on Sunday to get the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy in credit of his wonderful performances last year with Mercedes. The award is given yearly by the village of Brisighella near Bologna, in memory of local driver Bandini, who was killed at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix. All through his first season with the German team, Rosberg secured three podiums en route to seventh place in the 2010 drivers’ standings, scoring almost twice as many points as team mate and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.
“It’s a great honour to be awarded the Bandini Trophy,” Rosberg told his official website. “It’s not just awarded for achievements on the race track, but also a driver’s mentality and approach to the sport, which gives it extra meaning.”
Part of Sunday’s prize-giving proceedings was the traditional 12 kilometre drive from Faenza to Brisighella, on public streets. Previous winners have made the journey in Formula One machinery, but Rosberg chose to get behind the wheel of an AMG Mercedes C-Class DTM car.
“I had great fun driving the DTM car on the open roads,” continued Rosberg. “There was just one police car in front of me and traffic coming from the other direction, which the police had to clear out of the way. It was an incredible sight – and especially because there were spectators lining the route all the way. The Italian people have an incredible enthusiasm and passion for motorsport.”
Rosberg is the 18th recipient of the Bandini award. Previous winners include Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen, Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher and Robert Kubica.
“The trophy itself is fantastic, like a piece of art,” said the German. “It’s very, very heavy – I nearly had to interrupt the photo calls because I couldn’t hold it anymore!”
Rosberg now heads to North America and this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2011 in Montreal.
Image © Mercedes
All material and photos are copyrighted material and owned by their respective owners. Use or depiction of images or trademarks throughout this website is for illustrative and editorial purposes only.Images come courtesy of; ferrari.com, mclaren.com, forceindiaf1.com, redbull.com, mercedesgp.com, renaultf1.com, toyota, bmw-sauber, williamsf1, lotus, virgin, Daylife.com, getty Images/LAT and AP Photos.