Grapevine: Schumacher Misses Out on Award

World Champion Michael Schumacher may have missed out to tennis ace Roger Federer in this year's prestigious Laureus Awards, but all eyes from the motor racing world were on former Champ Car champion Alex Zanardi, who claimed the World Comeback of the Year trophy

Zanardi, who lost his legs in a crash at the Lausitzring in 2001, took the title at sport's most important awards ceremony in Portugal on Monday night for making his full-time return to racing for BMW in last year's European Touring Car Championship.

Former World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, who is a Laureus World Sports Academy member, said: "I would pay special tribute to Alessandro Zanardi.

"To achieve what he has done and come back to racing is an awesome achievement. Physically it has been challenging, but the mental pressures must have been enormous. I am full of admiration for his courage and his determination."

Dr. Claudio Costa, who has overseen the Italian's rehabilitation since the accident, added: "Alessandro Zanardi is letting all the people in his condition know what they can do. His example sends a message to humanity."

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