Max nominated for BBC Sports Personality gong

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen wipes his face with a towel. Qatar, November 2021.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, wipes his face with a towel at the Qatar Grand Prix. November 2021.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will be up for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year World Sports Star Award later in December.

The Sports Personality of the Year event is held annually by the BBC in December, designed to recognise and celebrate British sporting successes, though an international category is also active to reward the achievements of an overseas athlete.

Verstappen has been locked in a fierce battle with Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, a two-time winner of the main Sports Personality of the Year Award, over the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship.

Both drivers now head into the all-important Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tied on 369.5 points, with Verstappen holding the Drivers’ Championship lead due to claiming more race wins than Hamilton this season.

And just like his path to the Drivers’ title, Verstappen also will have very tough competition in the race for the international World Sports Star gong.

Max Verstappen barriers. Saudi Arabia December 2021
Max Verstappen putting in the laps at the Jeddah circuit between the barriers. Saudi Arabia December 2021

First on his list of rivals in Serbian tennis ace Novak Djokovic, who won three of the four grand slam titles on offer in 2021, they being the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Rachael Blackmore, the first female jockey to win the Grand National, doing so in April of 2021, is also on the list, as is Tom Brady who marked his seventh Super Bowl victory as part of the triumph of his team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in American Football.

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the first boxer to become undisputed world super-middleweight champion, holding belts from four different governing bodies simultaneously, is also up for the award, along with Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah, who claimed three gold medals at the delayed Tokyo Olympics this year in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter relay events.


The last Formula 1 driver to win the international award was Sebastian Vettel back in 2013, following the claiming of his fourth Drivers’ Championship in succession.

Voting is now open on the BBC Website.