Max Verstappen was given the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award on Sunday.
Verstappen got the award following his championship run in the 2021 Formula 1 season. He had 10 victories, took 10 pole positions, and finished on podium in 18 out of 22 races last year.
The Dutchman beat tennis player Novak Djokovic, NFL player Tom Brady, long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge, swimmer Caeleb Dressel, and soccer player Robert Lewandowski in the nomination.
“I was very happy, of course, but it was a lot of hard work and years of preparation. I’m incredibly proud,” Verstappen commented.
“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 recognized for this award, one of the highest ones in the world, so I’m incredibly happy.”