Lewis Hamilton loses Sports Personality of the Year Award for a second year

Lewis Hamilton\'s trophy cabinet gets some much-needed respite

Lewis Hamilton's trophy cabinet gets some much-needed respite

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.

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59 comments on Lewis Hamilton loses Sports Personality of the Year Award for a second year

  1. zerogee said on 14th December 2008, 23:20

    There’s probably a bit of underdog to it as well. Athletes in Britain don’t seem to get the adulation they do in Australia (footballers excluded). So good on him. Lewis has had a pretty easy time of it, let’s be honest.

    Chris Hoy is one of those feelgood, come out of nowhere stories. Lewis, well, we all knew it was going to happen. :-)

  2. Lewis did not look disappointed that he did not win this evening. It would have been great if he had won. But it does not matter, he is world champion and that is all that matters. Well done to Chris.

  3. Roger Carballo AKA Architrion said on 14th December 2008, 23:49

    I feel sorry, really. Seems like we’ve missed another Senna comparisson speech. I will not get enough of it till I hear it another thousand times. Lewis is Senna reincarnated…. Uauuuu.

    By the way, congrats to the winner. A real olympic sportsman will always be greater than any F1 driver. I mean trully olympic sports like athletism, boxing, swimming, and all that kind of sports that makes what olympics sports are.

  4. @David Watkins

    Couldn’t agree more. Hoy has utterly dominated an Olympic sport winning everything in sight. I often feel the Sports Personality award goes to the popular sports rather than the most deserving candidate. In this case, a relatively minor sport has won and that goes to show how much of an impact Chris Hoy has made. Hamilton would have won in a less successful year for British sport, but given the scrappy nature of the F1 championship this year the best man has won.

    I do wonder though if the the negative press surrounding Hamilton’s move abroad, or the over the top coverage that has some people in the UK wanting him to lose, meant he missed out on a lot of public votes?

  5. Rabi Sultan said on 15th December 2008, 1:41

    Hoy deserved the award he absolutely dominated the opposition in the most glamourous and toughest event in the year – the Olympics.

  6. Cameron said on 15th December 2008, 1:42

    David Watkins

    I can understand Greg Rusdeski and Michael Owen winning this award, as I know who they are. But, It’s a British Public thing, and I guess international exposure doesn’t really mean anything.

    If New Zealand ran the same thing, you probably wouldn’t know our winner either ;)

    Thanks for the explanation anyway :)

  7. For those non-British F1 fans out there, I think Keith ought to have explained that the BBC Sports Personality of the year covers all the sportsmen and women (and teams and coaches and supporters) in the country – and the sports covered by the BBC, of course.
    Normally the event is dominated by the football (soccer) teams and occasionally snooker and rugby too. However, the British success at the Olympics (remember them?) and in various track, sailing and cycling championships throughout the year have brought the athletes to the fore – third place went to our top female swimmer by the way. And the top award is voted for by the public, who also nominate people for other awards as well.
    So overall, Hammy should be pleased to receive second place when motorsport is not one of the most watched sports in the country, and F1 was not broadcast on the BBC, apart from the scandals and silliness during the year. How many other countries have events which bring all their top sportsmen and women together for a celebration of their success?
    Now, with F1 returning to the BBC, we can hope for more nominations for the next SPOTY, and we can start campaigning for the British F1 teams and engineers to get awards as well!

  8. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th December 2008, 9:32

    DG – Thanks for that. I do wonder whether which sports get BBC coverage has a bearing – there’s been no F1 winner during the ITV years.

    Here’s how the voting was split among the top four:

    Hoy – 283,630
    Hamilton – 163,864
    Adlington – 145,924
    Ainslie – 35,472

  9. I think Mr Collantine is not necessarily a 100% fan of Lewis. Ive noticed the, maybe unconscious, angle on Lewis stories tends to give that impression. “lewis loses SPOTY” – gosh does that mean Rebecca Adlington is an even bigger loser? The stuff about Lewis & Senna also has a bit of a cynical “who does he think he is” subtext to it.

    Theres a group of people who love Britains successful sporting stars and tend to get interested in whatever sports they are in for that reason alone. Then theres another group who feel their sport is being hijacked by these fair weather friends and distance themselves from the superstar, almost finding things to dislike about them so as to differentiate themselves from the former group.

    Somewhere in the middle lies the truth but you dont “lose” SPOTY- its the last bastion of a gentler age and no one lost then, they just enjoyed taking part.

  10. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th December 2008, 10:06

    Antonyob – As far as I’m concerned if you finish first in a contest you’re a winner, and if you don’t you’re a loser. It’s merely a semantic difference.

  11. well yeh i take the meaning of loser to be very different to how you obviously do! If id been voted the 2nd best in my profession then id be made up, i assume you would to and the word loser wouldnt enter your head.

  12. Paul F said on 15th December 2008, 10:42

    Ultimately, I think SPOTY is fairly irrelevant – you can’t really argue about whether the results are fair/justified, as it’s essentially a popularity contest. I don’t think I even understand what sports personality means…

  13. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th December 2008, 10:45

    Antonyob – Ah, the ‘second place is the first loser’ argument…

  14. Paul

    SPOTY dates back to the 1950’s in Britain, a very different time when our sporting heroes ahd 3 minutes of coverage on Pathe news and everyone used the word “old chap” more often than was strictly necessary. Sport was either played by working class types who were dashed grateful or by the ruling classes who did it for fun.

    The PERSONALITY bit was because “winner” was considered too vulgar. Its an anathema, an anachronism but it still carries weight in the UK and Chris Hoy was genuinely overwhelmed. Its nice that not everything has to be about winners and losers but who the public perceive as the best example.

  15. keith – thats your argument,not mine

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