Jenson Button came second in the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year Award for 2009, missing out on the top honour to Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs.
Formula 1 world champion Button had been the bookmakers' favourite for the annual accolade, which is decided by a viewers' vote, but ended up emulating Lewis Hamilton's second places from 2007 and 2008. The award last went to a racing driver in 1996, when then world champion Damon Hill won it for a second time.
Earlier in the ceremony, Button had reflected on how poignant it had felt to return to the BBC event as champion when twelve months earlier he had been wondering if he would even have a 2009 drive following Honda's withdrawal.
"We'd been through so much over the last season," said Button. "Every single person at Brawn worked over 100 per cent to get that car on the grid for the first race in Melbourne. Even that was an achievement for us - actually being there. Coming away with the championship was extraordinary and a very special moment.
"I've been racing in F1 for 10 years now and suddenly I thought my career was going to be over. I had no other options. So we all pulled together and pushed as hard as we could to stay racing in 2009. Little did we know what we could achieve.
"Finishing as world champion has been my dream for many, many years. Twenty one years ago I started racing in a go-kart around a pub car park, and I'm stood here as the world champion, so it's a fantastic and very special feeling."