He may be the youngest ever Formula 1 world champion but the British public snubbed Lewis Hamilton in the voting for Sports Personality of the Year 2008.
Hamilton was beaten by cyclist Chris Hoy, who was supposed to be racing Hamilton in the Race of Champions at Wembley today. That event was cancelled due to safety concerns.
Hamilton finished second to Joe Calzaghe last year. The boxer was among Hamilton’s rivals for the award once again this year along with Rebecca Adlington (swimming), Ben Ainslie (sailing), Christine Ohuruogu (athletics), Andy Murray (tennis), Nicole Cooke, Rebecca Romero and Bradley Wiggins (all cycling).
Hamilton has been handed a string of awards since he won the 2008 world championship. He has already scooped the Autosport international racing driver of the year award plus a BRDC Gold Star and the Richard Seaman trophy. On Friday he collected the F1 world championship trophy at the FIA Gala.
British racing drivers have a tradition of success in the Sports Personality of the Year Award. John Surtees, Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell (twice) and Damon Hill (twice) have all won (Surtees doing so for motor cycle racing, five years before he became F1 world champion). Mansell and Hill are two of only three people to win the award twice.
But Hamilton will have to wait another year to add his name to the list.