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Leclerc wins Rookie of the Year title at Autosport Awards

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Just a few days after securing an F1 drive with Sauber, Charles Leclerc enjoyed another high, winning the Richard Mille Rookie of the Year award at the 2017 Autosport Awards on Sunday evening.

Leclerc blitzed the field in Formula 2 this year, the 20-year-old clinching the 2017 title in his maiden season in the category by collecting seven wins and eight pole positions with Prema Racing.

The 20-year-old Ferrari junior's outstanding performance in F1's feeder series made him a compelling 2018 choice for Sauber with whom the Monegasque also enjoyed four FP1 outings this season.

"Coming into 2017 I didn't expect a season like that," said Leclerc, who received his distinguished award from the hands of F1 CEO Chase Carey.

"Formula 2 is a very competitive series and for rookies it's very hard because the Pirelli tyre is a hard one to learn.

"It's a hard rookie season and to top it off with F1 [graduation] is amazing."

Sunday's evenings other notable laureates were Lewis Hamilton, who won both the International Racing and British Competition Driver awards on the back of his fourth F1 world title, and Lando Norris who collected the 2017 National Driver of the Year prize.

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