After part one of the 2012 EngageSportMode awards, here is the imaginatively titled “part two” with a distinctly motorsport flavour:
Man of the Year
I realise there will be some screaming “fix” when I reveal that Sebastian Vettel is EngageSportMode’s Man of the Year for 2012. But putting aside my Red Bull bias for a few minutes, who else could I realistically have picked from the automotive/motorsport world?
Red Bull did not have the quickest car this season. As a result Vettel had to fight for this year’s title much harder than in 2011, when it became a veritable stroll to the finish line. By comparison, 2012 asked Vettel to use every ounce of his race-craft, and put in efforts like those in Abu Dhabi and Brazil that needed him to fight through the pack.
Almost as important as the title itself was the fact Sebastian was able to silence those who said he wasn’t a “real racer” and only won by virtue of having the fastest car. 2012 proved those who doubted him wrong.
Away from the circuit, Vettel also impressed ESM with his highly amusing performance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, ripping up Lord March’s front lawn in the eponymous Vettel Edition Infiniti FX. Whereas drivers like Hamilton were getting engaged in Twitter “drama”, the young German had his fun by left his talking to the track.
A worthy triple-champion, and a very worth ESM Man of the Year.
Twitterer of the Year
If you’re reading this and not following ESM on Twitter, then shame on you! Add @EngageSportMode straight away, then come back and read the rest of this.
There were a number of contenders that I could have picked from to take this award. Many of them are other bloggers, such as Mr Keith Jones (@keithwrjones), Rich Gooding (@polodrivercom), or Amber Maren Johnson (@AmberMaren). All of them purveying excellent automotive writing to the internet.
Whilst he’ll admit himself to not being a particularly great F1 driver, as a twitter pundit he is in a league of his own. With insight, knowledge, and a devil-may-care attitude to what he says (just ask Kamui Kobayashi about the greasy stick), Taki brings some great entertainment to the often serious world of Formula 1.
Senna’s Favourite Grand Prix of 2012
If you read ESM’s canine F1 correspondent’s review of the Hungarian Grand Prix, you should know that the Eastern European round has a “cat in our back garden’s” chance of winning this award. Quite frankly, there was no competition. It had to be Brazil that the whippet picked as the greatest Grand Prix of this season, if not many more seasons past.
Not only was there the hype of a championship-decider at the final round, the weather and the lacklustre qualifying, but Vettel’s incident on the first lap changed the entire dynamic of the race. I cannot remember a Grand Prix producing so many emotional highs and lows as Brazil did for the ESM team members that watched it together.
That opening lap, with Vettel’s damaged RB8 rolling backwards, was a true heart-in-mouth moment. Right there, in that instance, it looked like the title was Alonso’s. But SV’s epic recovery drive meant the Spaniard would not be the one taking a third World Championship.
Aside from the drama of the title decider, action and more action unfolded on every lap of the race. With the Hamilton/Hülkenberg battle at the front, cars sliding and spinning everywhere and the contest for 10th place in the Constructor’s Championship going to the wire, it was a truly epic race.
Looking back, 2012 was an excellent year to be involved in watching and writing about motorsport. ESM strongly hopes 2013 will prove to be just as exciting, and the team will be looking to bring you news and opinion throughout.