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Raikkonen pips Alonso to British award

Published: 9:54AM Tuesday December 06, 2005 Source: Reuters

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen has been crowned international racing driver of the year by Britain's Autosport magazine despite being beaten to the Formula One title by Renault's Fernando Alonso.

The Finn was presented with his trophy at an awards ceremony in London on Monday night by Britain's 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell.

"I know what it is like to be a bridesmaid," said Mansell, who finished championship runner-up three times before eventually taking the title with Williams.

"I think it is just a question of time. He is a future world champion."

Raikkonen, 26, has finished overall runner-up twice since his debut in 2001 - to Ferrari's Michael Schumacher in 2003 and this year to 24-year-old Spaniard Alonso.

Both he and the Renault driver won seven races each but Alonso had none of the Finn's reliability problems.

McLaren, who won 10 of the season's 19 races, also took the racing car of the year award.