(Barbados Today) – Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020.
One of F1’s all-time great drivers, he equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles with his fourth consecutive championship in 2020.
The 35-year-old, from Stevenage, also surpassed Schumacher’s total of 91 grand prix wins.
In a public vote, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson finished second while jockey Hollie Doyle was third.
Boxer Tyson Fury, England cricketer Stuart Broad and snooker great Ronnie O’Sullivan were also shortlisted for the main award.
“I want to say congratulations to all the incredible nominees,” said Hamilton. “I’m so proud of what they have achieved and I want to say thank you to everyone that has voted for me.
“I wasn’t expecting this knowing there’s so many great contenders.
“I want to say Merry Christmas to everyone – it’s been such an unusual year and I want to mention all the front line workers and all the children round the world, I want you to try and stay positive through this difficult time, I’m sending you all positivity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
It is the second time Hamilton has been crowned Sports Personality of the Year, having first won the award in 2014.
He is also a four-time runner-up, most recently in 2019.
Hamilton, who holds the record for most pole positions, won 11 of the 17 grands prix during the 2020 season, which started four months late because of the coronavirus pandemic. He achieved three further podium finishes.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast’s Sally Nugent, Hamilton also paid tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who was honoured with the Helen Rollason Award for his incredible fundraising efforts during lockdown, Young Unsung Hero winner Tobias Weller, and Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford, who won a special award.
“There’s so many great stories out there,” said Hamilton. “And so I truly wasn’t expecting it.
“Your heart’s always pumping in those last few seconds when they’re announcing because you have absolutely no idea who was called in. But I am so, so, so grateful to the British public.
“This definitely goes a long way to giving me the best Christmas that I can have given the circumstances.”
Henderson’s runner-up spot came after his Liverpool side were named top team while manager Jurgen Klopp won coach of the year.
After picking up the trophy for finishing third, Doyle said: “It felt unbelievable but felt like it wasn’t for myself but for our industry as a whole, which I’m proud to be part of.”
The Sports Personality of the Year 2020 was broadcast live from MediaCityUK, Salford, in front of a 1,000-strong virtual audience and millions of BBC One viewers.
Football pundit Alex Scott joined the presenting line-up alongside Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan to look back on a truly unusual year of sport.