How We Made the British Grand Prix Trophies
When Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen stepped up onto the podium to collect
their trophies after last Sunday’s thrilling British Grand Prix, few people would have paid too much
attention to the awards they held aloft as they received the adulation of the crowd. But, like the
team of high-skilled engineers and mechanics who work behind the scenes to make each Formula
One car as fast as it can possibly be, the trophy makers at Aford Awards worked tirelessly for almost
four months to design and manufacture trophies worthy of such a prestigious event as the 2016
British Grand Prix.
Silverstone’s design brief for the British Grand Prix trophies was a challenging one; the trophy had to
resemble a cup and had to be as big as possible while staying within F1 guidelines, and although
there are strict rules regarding the branding on trophies, Silverstone were keen to incorporate their
iconic logo into the overall design in some way.
Lewis Hamilton has been very vocal in his criticism of some of the trophies that he has won over the
years – none more so than the infamous “red plastic thing” that he was awarded for winning the
2014 British Grand Prix. Many of the top drivers view gold trophies as “special”, and because of that
Silverstone were very keen for the drivers’ trophies to be manufactured in gold, silver and bronze.
Aford Awards created three different designs based on the brief, and Silverstone eventually opted
for the “lightning bolt” trophies that were awarded last weekend. Cleverly incorporating
Silverstone’s iconic lightning bolts and featuring a highly polished metal base, the spectacular
designs were given final approval by the race organisers at Silverstone and a prototype was
Aford Awards then produced a prototype of the winner’s trophy in acrylic so that Silverstone could
ensure that the award conformed to F1 guidelines on trophy dimensions. However, the trophy broke
while being transported to the race circuit due to the fragility of the prototype’s material and the
large size of the trophy. Fortunately, Silverstone were still able to confirm that the trophy met the F1
guidelines and were reassured by Aford Awards that final metal trophy would be stronger and far
The Manufacturing Process
The first step in the manufacturing process was to draw and cut out the lightning shapes for each of
the four trophies (the three drivers’ trophies and the constructors’ award). The 5mm metal material
that Aford Award used in the construction of the trophy fitted the bill perfectly, as it was relatively
straightforward to cut and would give the finished trophy the weight it needed to support the
Once the metal lighting shapes had been cut out they were sent to the anodising team for colouring.
The process of anodising allows metal to be given almost any colour imaginable, but while the bright
gold and silver finishes were relatively easy to achieve, the bronze trophy to be awarded to the
third-placed driver proved to be far more problematic.
Aford Awards’ anodising team produced five different shades of bronze, and it was left to Jon Ford,
the managing director, to choose the most suitable shade. The darkest shade of bronze looked
almost brown, and while it provided a wonderful contrast to the bright gold and silver finishes of the
other two trophies it would have looked terrible on television. Because of this, Jon opted for a
lighter shade of bronze.
Once the metal lightning pieces had been anodised they were then securely attached to the highly
polished base. The end result was a spectacular trophy that perfectly met the design brief and were
truly worthy of being handed out at the British Grand Prix.
The UK’s Leading Trophy Manufacturer
As well being the proud supplier of trophies for the British Grand Prix, Aford Awards also provide
trophies and awards for just about every type of occasion and event. From football trophies to rugby
medals and crystal awards to presentation cups, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Aford Awards.
Plus, they offer free engraving and personalisation on all of their trophies too.