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

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.

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

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  1. They’re hardly going to dismiss the effect of the bikes on their performance, especially when the manufacturer is one of their biggest sponsors.

    But as you say this is an F1 site so we can leave it at that :~)

    On a slight tangent “if you improve 100 things by 0.1% you get 10% extra performance”.

    If the thing you improve only contributes to 0.01% of your overall performance then no matter how much you improve it you’re never going to improve your performance by more than 0.01%. So improving 100 areas with a similar impact will only give you a 1% increase in overall performance, not counting any conflicts that these improvements bring.

    Sorry, I know this isn’t a maths site either but the statistical analysis of performance isn’t quite that simple.

  2. you just said the same thing as me 0.01 x 100 = 1%

    0.1% x 100 = 10%.

    i’ll get your coat

  3. Sorry, tried not to turn this into a thesis but:

    If you improve the performance of 100 things by 10% then their relative performance is now 110% of the original.

    If these things only contribute to 5% of your overall performance then your overall performance has only increased by 0.5%, not 10%.

    You may make a 10% improvement of the parts but this does not necessarily result in a 10% improvement in overall performance.

    So for an F1 example, if Ferrari improve the power of their engine by 10% this doesn’t mean their performance has increased by 10% as the engine only makes up a set amount of the cars performance.
    You then get the associated problem of the gearbox & transmission etc needing to be improved to handle the extra power, without which the extra power of the engine can be a disadvantage.

    As my boss constantly reminds me, solutions are the main cause of problems.

    Without going into field arrays and several pages of boring math this is the best I can give you.
    Please accept my apologies if my previous post sounded a bit arrogant or adversarial, it was not my intention. I’m just getting very, very bored waiting for the next season to start & find myself arguing with people over nothing as there’s little to argue about now the racing has stopped.

  4. I’m surprised no one has pointed out charisma is not one of Lewis’ strong points. If anything he did surprisingly well….

  5. Exactly Alejandro, Hamilton lost because he doesn’t have an appealing personality. Then again I’ve never really heard Chris Hoy say much. Perhaps Ronnie O’Sullivan should have won it, he’s got one hell of a personality, even if he is a little bit crazy. Or perhaps I shouldn’t take the word “personality” too literally.

  6. Surely you can’t lose something you don’t have? Lewis wasn’t the holder of the title therefore I wouldn’t say he lost it personally…

    Anyhow, Chris Hoy is a well deserved winner of the title – an awesome effort went into making him the winning machine he currently is, good to see that recognised.

  7. Saying anything other than congrats to Chris Hoy is sour grapes to be honest. He won by a “landslide” and it was his time to shine to get an award he truly deserves. People think that Olympics are just a temporary thing but behind it is life-time commitment, waking up very early in the morning to get the training done…those Olympians who achieve a medal let alone multiple golds deserve more respect than they are getting.

    Add to the fact that some people see 1 WDC as inferior to THREE gold medals (four if you count overall) that Hoy achieved.

    But this was Hoy’s year to shine, and he made me more proud to be British than Lewis did to be frank.

    Having said that, Hamilton is extreme talent and its only a matter of when he wins the SPOTY, there is no if about it.

  8. Terry Fabulous
    15th December 2008, 23:20

    He probably lost it because he is going out with a Pussycat doll which is a sign of having no personality (or at least a pretty ordinary one).

  9. Owen, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Building up to the awards, I read article after article by the British media about Lewis “having no personality” (from people who had never met him I presume); about how he is a tax shirker (never seemed to be a problem for Paula Radcliffe, and Nicole Cooke also lives in Switzerland and that never gets mentioned); about how he is a “so-called champion only because of the skulduggery of Glock” (yes, I actually read that written by a “journalist”); how he is too greedy to actually meet his fans at motorsport events anymore (this was because he had a prior engagement and despite the fact he has been at Goodwood and Brooklands this year meeting and greeting his fans – I know because I was there). So all in all, he has been decimated in the British media; his character has been slandered and dragged through the mud, so their work is done. I really don’t know what Lewis has done to upset British journalists, but he is evidently hated by them and the sheep in this country believe what they read unfortunately. I do think Hoy and Adlington achieved a phenomenal amount this year – I would never downplay their achievements – but Lewis has done something amazing in his 2 years of F1 and had to put up with the most incredible pressures of FIA bias, racism, driver ganging up, and to come through it all and become champion in only his 2nd year, fully deserved to be recognised by the British public. Hoy or Adlington did not have to endure the psychological pressures that Lewis did over an entire year. I doubt he will ever be duly recognised though – every year there will be another candidate that the journalists try to big up while crucifying Lewis in the run up to the awards. I wouldn’t bother turning up again if I were him.

  10. Alejandro, that’s your opinion. I find Lewis has oodles of charisma.

  11. Ever noticed that the press often fail to mention that their companies owners & many of their highly paid staff are also non-domiciled residents or tax exiles ?

    A recent BBC website debate was full of comments about Lewis being a rich kid who left the country when he made it in F1, unfortunately there were also many thinly disguised racist comments on there too.

    I’m not a big Lewis fan but I don’t get some of the more extreme Lewis Bashing, he’s a very good driver and could be a great one some day.

  12. @ S Hughes, of course it’s my opinion, what else can it be? unless you have a formula to define charisma… ;)

  13. Terry Fabulous
    16th December 2008, 5:44

    I’m serious folks

    No man dating a pussycat doll has ever won Sports Personality of the year…

    Coincidence OR NOT!!!!

  14. Terry Fabulous, yeah they’re all jealous!

  15. Alejandro, Lewis + Hamilton = charisma/personality to the power of 1,000,000. Remember and learn!

  16. Given the success of the British Olympic team this year Hamilton was only ever going to win if the Olympic vote was split as they had 7 of the 10 finalists, I managed to guess the final three of Hoy, Hamilton and Addlington, but wasn’t sure what the final order would be.

  17. @ S Hughes, I totally forgot that bit, my bad! :D
    That being said, are you saying that if his personality is mildly higher than his charisma then Lewis+Hamilton is a very small number aproximating zero?
    You are making my head hurt now…. :D

  18. OK so the general feeling is the ‘loser’ thing was a bit harsh. Duly noted.

    A few people have brought up tax exile stuff. I think it’s garbage, but it is something the mainstream media brings up a lot. I was also disappointed to see one Scottish newspaper peddling that rubbish about Glock slowing down as being a reason not to vote for Hamilton. Only some completely ignorant of motor racing could think Glock did that deliberately.

    As for Hamilton’s personality, I think it comes across in a very mixed way. Stuff like the Top Gear interview he did last year was great – because it was just him talking. I think some things he says get taken the wrong way – intentionally or not – like the ‘monkeys’ quote last year. That’s the peril of living in the public eye. But the kind of manufactured image of him we get through stuff like that FIA Gala video is less likeable.

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