Lewis Williamson last night became the third consecutive Michelin Formula Renault UK driver to win the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award collecting the increased prize of £100,000 together with a Formula 1 test with McLaren.
In doing so, Lewis, from Golspie in Scotland, also become the eighth winner to come from the one-make single-seater championship which is a prominent support race to the British Touring Car Championship.
Lewis, who narrowly missed out on this year’s Formula Renault UK title by a mere six points, won the prestigious award which is often referred to as indicating the best young British driver competing at a National level.
As well as £100,000, and a Formula 1 test in a McLaren, Lewis also receives full membership to the BRDC, a TW Steel watch, Puma racewear for a year, and the offer of media training with Lee McKenzie.
“I’m just in shock,” said Lewis on stage, who raced for Manor Competition this year and secured more wins than any other driver (five). “I just did what I’ve done all year; give it 100%. That’s all you can do.”
He was presented with his award at a star-studded ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel by former winners David Coulthard and Paul di Resta who is also a former Formula Renault UK racer (2003 and 2004).
The 21-year-old was one of three Formula Renault drivers among the finalists – along with Formula Renault UK champion Tom Blomqvist and Formula Renault Eurocup runner-up Luciano Bacheta – together with Formula BMW Europe runner-up Jack Harvey, British Formula Ford runner-up Scott Malvern and Formula Palmer Audi champion Nigel Moore. There was consolation for 17-year-old Tom Blomqvist though after the Saffron Walden teenager still walked away with the British Club Driver of the Year Award.
This year Lewis impressed the judging panel, which included F1 veteran Derek Warwick, DTM ace Jamie Green and double BTCC champion Jason Plato, across a number of tests including a track assessment at Silverstone’s new South circuit in both an F2 car and a DTM machine and runs on a simulator.
Lewis is now the eighth Formula Renault UK winner to pick up the award and the third consecutive Manor Competition driver. Successful British Touring Car driver Darren Turner was the first winner to represent Formula Renault UK, winning the award in 1996 after finishing as Vice-Champion to David Cook. In 2002, Jamie Green won the award after finishing as Vice-Champion to Danny Watts, 2003 winner Alex Lloyd was Vice-Champion to Lewis Hamilton, while 2004 winner Paul di Resta was third overall behind champion Mike Conway and Westley Barber. Meanwhile 2009 saw Alexander Sims take the honours followed by Dean Smith last year.