• NEWS: Valtteri Receives Prestigious Bandini Trophy

The Finn took to the roads of Northern Italy in the team's 2016 F1 car on Saturday before being presented with the award

It's not every day you see a Formula One car on public roads. In fact, it very rarely happens. But, Valtteri was let loose on the streets of Northern Italy as part of the spectacular 2018 Bandini Trophy celebrations.

Valtteri was awarded the Bandini Trophy for his breakthrough performance in 2017, becoming the 25th recipient of the prestigious honour - and following in the footsteps of team-mate Lewis Hamilton (2010) and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (2015).

Established in 1992, it is awarded by the Associazione Trofeo Lorenzo Bandini in memory of Italian racing driver Lorenzo Bandini, who achieved success both in F1 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans before tragically losing his life at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix.

Valtteri was presented the award by Lorenzo Bandini's wife Margherita Freddi in his scenic hometown of Brisighella, during a stunning ceremony on Saturday evening.

The three-time F1 race winner arrived in style on Saturday afternoon, driving the team's 2016 Championship-winner 12 kilometres from the nearby city of Faenza to the village of Brisighella.

The police escort meant Valtteri wasn't able to show off the full performance of the F1 W07 Hybrid, which won 19 out of 21 races on its way to the 2016 Drivers' and Constructors' Championships, but it was still quite a sight for local residents!

Valtteri's journey started in Faenza's Piazza del Popolo, before the parade of racing machinery made its way along the picturesque 12km route through the countryside to Brisighella.

He was then presented with the trophy at the awards ceremony in the evening. "This is a big honour," Valtteri said. "I saw the list of drivers who received the Bandini Trophy before. There are some really impressive names on that list - just think of the total amount of championships these people have won!

"So, I feel very honoured to now be a Bandini winner myself. I had some good moments last year and it's nice to be recognised for those. Driving the 2016 car on the roads just added to the excitement of this great day."

Several other members of the Mercedes team also picked up accolades. Aldo Costa, Engineering Director, and Riccardo Musconi, senior Race Engineer on No.44, were each presented with the European Community Award.

Meanwhile Andrea Dolfi, Global Technology Manager, Engine Fluids & Motorsport at Petronas Lubricants International (PLI) was awarded the prize from the Emilia Romagna Motor Valley panel.

Following on from the incredible W07 run and the awards ceremony, the day was rounded out with an awards gala attended by around 500 guests.