“I’m an artist, the track is my canvas, and the car is my brush”

The Trofeo Lorenzo Bandini

Published: May 10, 2009. Article by ForzaMinardi

Lorenzo Bandini was the archetypal Italian racing driver – debonair, charming and as smooth off the trak as he was on it.  A loyal servant of Ferrari, he seemed on the cusp of greatness, taking over the mantle of John Surtees as team leader when he died after a horrific accident at Monaco in 1967.  While he won only one championship Grand Prix, Bandini is remembered for his attitude, courage and determination – and those living up to that legacy are annually rewared with the the Trofeo Lorenzo Bandini.

The trophy, originated as a one off in 1992 to mark the 25th anniversary of his death, is now organised annually by the inhabitants and council of Bandini’s home town of Brisighella. The recipient is honoured for their dedication to motor racing, spirit of competition and achievements.  Traditionally awarded on the weekend of the Imola GP by Bandini’s widow, the trophy is awarded not on basis of results, but on basis of how those results were achieved.

1992 Ivan Capelli

Possibly awarded in anticipation of a successful campaign for the veteran Italian in 1992.  While his year at Ferrari and F1 career fizzled out, Capelli was a passionate, talented driver very much in the spirit of Bandini and whose love of F1 is now expressed in Italian TV’s commentary box.

1995 David Coulthard

After a hiatus of 3 years, the Trofeo became an annual award.  DC won in 1995 after his exploits in his first season for Williams, showing dignity and determination as he stepped in to the late Ayrton Senna’s car with great success.

1996 Jacques Villeneuve

Being a son of a Ferrari legend can’t hurt when it comes to winning awards in Italy – especially when the son has just won the CART championship, the Indy 500 and made a stunning debut in F1.  Very much his own man, Villeneuve none the less appreciated the significance of the award.

1997 Luca Cordero di Montezemolo

And to another Ferrari legend, the mastermind of Lauda’s 1970s titles and of the Scuderia’s renaissance in the late ‘90s.  A true Captain of Industry and a gentleman to boot, di Montezemolo’s contribution to Ferrari’s success and Italian motorsports was recognised in 1997.

1998 Giancarlo Fisichella

Another Italian driver wins the award if not on basis of outstanding success, then on basis of his attitude for, approach to, and passion for F1.  While hopes that Fisi might bring the Championship back to Italy were in vain, his talent was clear to see, coming close to victory for Jordan in 1997.

1999 Alex Wurz

A slightly left-field choice here, but Wurz certainly showed plenty of character and grit in his first full year at Benetton in 1998.  Going wheel to wheel with Schumacher at Monaco seemingly heralded a great career – but while the wins didn’t follow, Wurz remained a popular driver.

2000 Jarno Trulli

Another Italian nearly-man won the judges hearts after a largely trying year with Prost in 1999.  Despite the car, Trulli fought on, impressing all with his character and was rewarded with a podium at season’s end a contract with Jordan – surely the team to beat in the new millennium?

2001 Jenson Button

Button burst onto the F1 scene in a blaze of media hype.  Quickly matching his teammate, Button went on to demonstrate his talent most obviously at Spa.  His youthful energy and personality meant F1 would not have to wait long for a new British star – or would it?

2002 Juan Pablo Montoya

JPM’s driving style, uncompromising overtaking and abrasive personality were all a throwback to an earlier era.  That meant he became not only a favourate with all who liked their racing mean, moody and macho but also became the second non-European to be awarded the trophy.

2003 Michael Schumacher

Inevitably, this most Italian of F1 awards had to be given to Schumacher sooner or later.  That it wasn’t awarded earlier is a surprise, but without a doubt Schumacher skills meant Ferrari scaled new heights of success on and off-track – even if some traditionalists were sniffy about his approach.

2004 Kimi Raikonnen

After a few years as the new boy wonder of F1, Kimi came of age in 2003, winning for the first time and taking Schumacher down the wire for the title.  Although lacking a truly competitive car, the doughty and determined Finn impressed all with his consistency and competitive spirit.

2005 Fernando Alonso

Although Alonso failed to win a race in 2004, his competitive instinct was clear to see.  Despite a car disadvantage, he took the fight to the Ferraris several times and ended up a solid 4th in the title race – a prelude to domination the following season.

2006 Mark Webber

After a few years in the wilderness with Minardi and Jaguar, Webber looked set for success with Williams in 2005.  While the results were disappointing, Webber’s application, hard work and talent won him his first F1 podium – and recognition of his competitive spirit with the award.

2007 Felipe Massa

Another Ferrari driver won the award in 2007, with Massa being recognised for his character, flamboyant driving and success in his first year as a Ferrari race driver.  While his Turkish GP win confirmed his abilities, his ‘press-on regardless’ style proved his character.

2008 Robert Kubica

Kubica went a long way to silencing his doubters in 2007.  A consistent points-scorer and a doughty fighter, he also proved his mettle by bouncing back from one of the most spectacular crashes of recent years in Canada.

2009 Sebastian Vettel

Due to be awarded on May 2nd, the Trofeo Bandini goes to Vettel in recognition of his remarkable year with Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2008.  Not only did he score his first pole and win, his chirpy personality and on-track combativeness confirmed a new star had arrived in F1.

Trofeo Lorenzo Bandini - Winners Summary

1992 Ivan Capelli
1995 David Coulthard
1996 Jacques Villeneuve
1997 Luca Cordero di Montezemolo
1998 Giancarlo Fisichella
1999 Alex Wurz
2000 Jarno Trulli
2001 Jenson Button
2002 Juan Pablo Montoya
2003 Michael Schumacher
2004 Kimi Raikonnen
2005 Fernando Alonso
2006 Mark Webber
2007 Felipe Massa
2008 Robert Kubica
2009 Sebastian Vettel

 Lorenzo Bandini Info

Born: 21 December, 1935
Died: May 10, 1967
Nationality: Italian

Grand Prix Results

Teams: Centro Sud, Ferrari
Years Active: 1961-67
Races: 42
Wins: 1
Podiums: 8
Points: 58
Pole Positions: 1
Fastest Laps: 2

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