ANOTHER WIN: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton has won the Polish press agency's 2014 Sportsman of the Year award. Image: AP / Luca Bruno
WARSAW, Poland - Lewis Hamilton has scored yet another plaudit since winning his second Formula 1 Drivers' title in 2014.
A coveted award in Europe is the Polish press agency's Sportsman of the Year in which 18 similar sports news services cast their votes and Briton Hamilton scored 82 points, just ahead of German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's 81 and tennis player Novak Djokovic's 74.
Fourth was Cristiano Ronaldo on 72.
Alex Zanardi, a former Formula 1 driver who has inspired millions with his feats after his 2001 crash, said F1 crowned the deserving champion in 2014. "I am not talking about the car, I'm talking about the driver," he told Ferrari insider Leo Turrini's Quotidiano blog. "Hamilton is the best... perhaps the only one who comes close to him in absolute terms is Alonso."
As for Sebastian Vettel, the now former four-times F1 champion and Ferrari's new driver, Zanardi was less convinced. "I think Vettel is a great driver," he said, "but maybe not at the level of Hamilton or Alonso. However, we are talking about a very, very competitive driver who is going to Maranello with the right spirit.
"Apart from the car, which of course is important, it will be interesting to see how Vettel and Raikkonen will go in 2015 in reaction to their latest experiences.
"In 2014, Seb was beaten by Ricciardo and it was the same with Kimi compared with Fernando. How will the new Ferrari couple do with a car that we are told will not be on top?
"It will be very interesting."