Lewis Hamilton has won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for the second time, six years after he first received the iconic trophy.
The 35-year-old Briton was the hot favourite for the honour after securing his seventh F1 World Championship title this season, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record.
In addition, Hamilton, who also played a large role in helping Mercedes to a seventh consecutive constructors’ crown, set a new record of 95 race wins and now has 98 pole positions.
From a short-list of six nominees for the award, Hamilton beat Liverpool and England footballer Jordan Henderson into second place with jockey Hollie Doyle third. The others in the reckoning were boxer Tyson Fury, snooker world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and cricketer Stuart Broad.
As well as his 2014 success, Hamilton had also been runner-up for the award on four occasions.
It was the eighth time a Formula 1 driver had been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The others, apart from Hamilton, were Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill twice each, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart.
🌟 Formula 1 world champion
🌟 The most successful F1 driver of all time
🌟 BBC #SPOTY winner 2020
What a year for @LewisHamilton!
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 20, 2020
Joining the show via video call, Hamilton said after being announced as the winner: “Firstly, I just want to say congratulations to all of the incredible nominees because I’m so proud of what they have achieved this year.
“I really want to say thank you to everyone that’s called in and voted for me. I really wasn’t expecting this, knowing there were so many great contenders, but I think we are all winners.
“I think this year has shown, and you [BBC] do every year, how many iconic heroes we have in the UK. I’m just really proud to be among them all and I will continue to try and do my part in representing the country in the best way I can.
“I really want to send a Merry Christmas to everyone. I know it’s been such an unusual year but all the frontline workers, all the children around the world, please try to stay positive through this difficult time. I’m sending everyone positivity and again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
“Everyone out there, go and follow your dreams. To all the kids, never give up on yourself, continue to believe in yourself because you have what it takes to be great.”