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December 8, 2015 @ 6:39 pm

2015 Pitpass Gala Awards

The Pitpass Gala Awards marked the culmination of a year's toil for the Formula One fraternity, which shows its support by staying at home. Instead the event was celebrated in a private room at one of the world's leading restaurants as Chris Balfe, Max Noble and Mat Coch descended on Singapore to dish out the awards for 2015.

In a sparkling ceremony, which saw Noble proudly show off his self-tied bow tied (shame he didn't know how to tie it), the brightest and best are celebrated following a long an arduous Formula One season.

No fewer than eleven awards are given, which is awkward given there 26 winners leaving the team to concoct a trophy share arrangement, though Balfe has Views on who should be doing the deliveries.

From the very first award of the night, the Biggest Let Down Of The Year, the team is on fire as they successfully manage to fail to agree and Coch goes off script to the bemusement and confusion of everyone else.

There are some moments of clarity, and as many as four awards receive unanimous support from the trio. By Manor's maths, that's a perfect record and makes it one of the most reliable awards ceremonies around.

Aside from Biggest Let Down Of The Year, awards were also handed out to biggest lie of the year, biggest piece of PR shiiiii….spin of the year, screw up of the year and team of the year. Not leaving it there three separate team bosses are crowned team boss of the year, which made for an awkward moment when it came to posting the award, while Max Verstappen will be forced to empty the school books out of his rucksack after he takes home a number of trophies in which he beats himself to victory.

There's the family favourites too with race of the year, overtake of the year, rookie of the year (oops, we might have just given that one away. Err, spoiler alert?), car of the year and of course driver of the year.

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December 2, 2015 @ 4:10 pm

Abu Dhabi 2015

Nico Rosberg might have won, but it was Sergio Perez who the team was waxing lyrical about following the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Chris Balfe, Max Noble and Mat Coch are back in the Pitpass studio dissecting the race and not getting distracted by the prospect of driverless motor racing in future at all. Okay, maybe for a bit, but barely more than five minutes as they salivate as the prospect of engineers with thick glasses and laptops slaving away over line after line of computer code.

Kicking off the show, the trio look at the situation at Mercedes as tension mounts between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg before moving seamlessly onto the impressive Sebastian Vettel as Ferrari goes from strength to strength. Just a shame the season is over.

With little to talk about on track, attention instead turns to the 2017 regulations and the fears over where it's taking the sport. It might not be Formula Robert, as Noble brands the driverless racing series that will support Formula E next season, but it may as well be. Mechanical grip is the key, they decide, in a move that will almost certainly be voted against at the next meeting of the F1 commission.

After a season of honourable mentions, Max Verstappen ends the year with a dishonourable mentioned after a calamitous weekend. Still, it's more than Nico Hulkenberg receives as the German sits quietly in the shadow of his teammate. Even Coch has to finally accept that fact.

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