Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2014

Hamilton is F1’s first SPOTY winner since 1996

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2014In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton wins the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award.

The last F1 driver to win the award was Damon Hill in 1996. He also won the trophy in 1994.

Prior to that the award was also won by Nigel Mansell (1986 and 1992), Jackie Stewart (1973), Stirling Moss (1961) and John Surtees (1959).


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Hamilton wins Sports Personality (BBC)

Hamilton: “I am so speechless. I’m so proud and honoured to be among such great sporting talent.”

Raikkonen says tough year no surprise (Autosport)

“If the car doesn’t suit you, and [I’ve had] similar situations before with Ferrari, it’s not easy to change things when certain things are not right for you.”

Disappointing semi for Romain (Lotus)

Romain [Grosjean], partnered in the Nations Cup by Lotus F1 team junior driver and 2014 FIA European Formula 3 Champion Esteban Ocon, looked to make a stellar start to his day, winning his first heat on track but that glory was short-lived as a post-chequered flag time penalty for pushing the track limits was imposed.”


Comment of the day

Philip (@Philipgb) supplied the latest Caption Competition winner:

Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Renault, 2002

Alonso: How are you finding the flip-flops?
Button: There’s just no grip!

Thanks to everyone who added their suggestions, especially Cjpdk, Stefan Kelly, Simon, JamieFranklinF1, Will and The Blade Runner who also contributed some of the best captions.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Max Jacobson, Steph90, John White and Reiter!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

New F1 team Virgin, which later became Marussia, announced on this day five years ago that Lucas di Grassi would be one of its race drivers.

Virgin rebranded the entry which was originally assigned to Manor. The team went into administration before the end of this year but retains a place on the 2015 entry list, renamed as Manor once more.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 75 comments on “Hamilton is F1’s first SPOTY winner since 1996”

    1. LOL at the caption xD just brilliant stuff !

      1. Those Renault people really were hedgy! “Flavio Flave” :)

    2. I’m sure there’s a world outside of GB too.

      1. I think it’s more to do with a lack of news on a Sunday before Christmas in the off season, when a lot of race or public facing staff get time off.

        I’m sure Keith would be glad of submissions from other shores, though.

        1. I was actually referring to this “Hamilton is F1’s first Sports Personality winner since 1996” as I suppose Schumacher at least must have won a German equivalent of the one in the meantime. :)

          1. Saw this after I’d written my comment below. Suffice it to say the headline refers to the specific award mentioned in the story. If that wasn’t obvious, the intro on the home page and at the top of the article reads “Hamilton wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year”, which surely makes it impossible to confuse with any other award?

            I don’t know if there are similar awards in other countries – perhaps other readers can enlighten us…

            1. I don’t know if there are similar awards in other countries – perhaps other readers can enlighten us…

              Both Austria and Germany have the sport-journalists-union elect a sportsman of the year. Austria only once elected an F1-driver, namely Niki Lauda, in 1977. Germany had Karl Kling in 1952 (2 years before he entered F1, though, and mainly due to his win in the Carrera Panamericana), Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips in 1961, Michael Schumacher in 1995 and 2004, and Sebastian Vettel in 2010 elected.

            2. @keithcollantine there other awards but I don’t see anything wrong with your title, it says BBC and that’s clear like water.

      2. Liam McShane (@)
        15th December 2014, 6:45

        Well considering this is a British site…

      3. there’s a world outside of GB too

        Presumably this is in response to the tweet? If so, don’t assume I’m not equally interested to see F1 succeed in other countries as well – of course I am, and I’ve said so before:


        But as I live in Britain I’m obviously better-placed to observe how it is performing here. Television viewing figures in the UK have been poor recently despite British success. But the same was true of Germany last year and I’m concerned by both.

        this is a British site

        No it isn’t – this is a site for F1 fans, regardless of their nationality.

        As has been pointed out countless times before, only around a third of users on the site are British:


      4. Yeah, well the BBC mostly caters for the UK though by definition, doesn’t it?

        And its interesting because only a week or 2 back we had articles from people pondering why Hamilton is not as popular in the UK as he should be when compared to previous UK champs, including Button. So this now shows that he is catching up.

        1. Maybe they just gave him this award because he’s black.

          1. COTD? As long as this was tongue in cheek…

          2. No, that’s why they penalized him in Monaco in 2011. :)

          3. Correction. Posted by Bigotsy..

            1. Just because you are not informed enough or, for that matter, don’t have a sense of humor, to see where’s the joke in it, doesn’t give you right to insult people from an imaginary moral high-ground. You are throwing around words for which you don’t even know the meaning. Even if I was serious, what that would mean is that I was speaking about positive discrimination. That is something people like you are so excited about, but unless you are presented with it in its PR name, you don’t recognize it. Because the attitude you have towards it is not a product of your thinking, but a product of you doing whatever is the flavor of the day. If you ask me, I say, go by who deserved what, no by color or ethnicity. Not some positive or negative discrimination. But, I don’t doubt the clarity of my conscience and of my intentions, so I don’t feel the need to get the validation from other people that I’m a fair and open minded person, by constantly looking for someone to point the finger at.
              That’s the difference between us. And that is why I can make a joke and take a joke, while you are too scared of what others might think of you, because you are not too confident in your open-mindedness yourself.

            2. look, there are plenty of people on this forum who would think your original post was at least rude and at worst some form of racism. Weather you think it’s a joke or not. So while it’s great that you explain yourself as joking and not a bigot, your original post hid your true awesomeness. So thanks for clarifying. As for your insight into me, you are just spot on. Read me like a book!
              Can we talk about formula one now without talking about skin color?

    3. Fernando Alonso in his Back Street Boys phase…

    4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      15th December 2014, 0:43

      Is the Sports personality of the year only including British people? Is the vote open worldwide or it was restricted to the UK?

      1. British apart from the Oversea’s award which the man in your profile pic won last year.

        1. @sirt Lauda also won in 1977.

    5. What personality?

      1. That’s what I’ve been thinking.
        They should just call it popularity contest. This current name implies that it’s about some great deeds in the name of humanity.

        1. I don’t think you know the definition of personality.

        2. Rory McIlroy as runner up too, the British love irony.

          1. I can see McIlroy winning when he completes the Grand Slam, which he might have done this year if he hadn’t lost the 2011 Masters. He was only 9 holes away from having done it already! He might have pipped Lewis in that circumstance, with Lewis winning next year if he gets a 3rd WDC and 2nd consecutive. Interesting to see that Clark and Hill never won the SPOTY award from 63-68.

        3. Voted for by the public live during the TV show, this prestigious award will be given to the sportsman or woman whose actions have most captured the public’s imagination

          Well, duh.

      2. I was thinking the same. Lewis is however very good at what he does. I’m stunned that Jo Pavey was not considered the personality of the year.

        1. I voted for her!

        2. @peartree Considering how unknown she probably was before the show, I think she did very well. Gareth Bale on the other hand, did abysmally, as does anyone who moves outside of the UK, irrespective of how well they do – in Spain/Europe, not globally, like Hamilton or McIlroy. Total votes were 615,000, or about 1/100th of the population.

          1. @fastiesty Jo Pavey’s story is inspirational. How can you not know her. Why would Bale deserve more votes, injured through half of the year which is unfortunate, and for most of the early part of 2014 benched!

            1. @peartree I know it, because I follow athletics, that said, at times it’s only on Red Button here in the UK, behind endless repeats of BBC Three content – what does that say about general public awareness of it?

              Bale – Didn’t really know that tbh (underlines my point), however it was said he scored in the Champions League final, Copa del Rey final, and helped the team win La Liga. But I do think that Atletico were robbed in that final minute of extra added time.

            2. @fastiesty I meant you plural. UK knows her story. I didn’t watch her race but the news raced the world. Bale did well at times namely the final as you said but ~di Maria had a much better season, better than his replacement and the worlds most expensive marketing stunt.

        3. I may be wrong, but didn’t she only succeed at a European level? Hugely impressive, especially inspirational, but in terms of the outright result it struggles to compare.

      3. Personality comes in many ways, like strength of character, being aware that success depends on others and thanking them. Just a few examples. Another personality trait you can see on this page, is the willingness to be negative towards others for what ever reason, if indeed there really is one.

        1. Comment of the year.

          1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            15th December 2014, 6:08


        2. Brilliant stuff.

      4. Lewis and for that matter Nico as well displayed tremendous crowd pleasing personalities at the Austin COTA autograph session. I was impressed by them and the equal adoration of the crowd.

      5. If you can start an argument just by mentioning the award, you know you’ve got the name of it absolutely right! (see Driver of the Weekend)

    6. It's personality award isn't it, no offense to Hamilton he's the best driver this year but his comments like "he's not German", "we're not friends" made it irrelevant I'm not a Rosberg fan, but He ended their feud in Abu Dhabi and showed great sportmanship, but in my mind Monaco and Belgium still questionable.

      1. Rosberg has also said he is not german but just prefers to race under their colours, and Rosberg also claimed that he and Lewis were not friends. So I have no idea where you are going with that comment. And Rosberg ended the feud he started, but nothing gave Lewis back the 32 points Nico cost him.

        And coming to the point of saying things that doesn’t merit the SPOTY, what about “He was lucky” in Italy, “They are British people” in Spa and his general cockiness in the build up to Abu Dhabi?

      2. The problem is in the title. When they announce the award, they say something like “the champion sportsman of the year award goes to…” which isn’t really the same.

        Of course, as with all awards it doesn’t really matter in so much as its amusing when people get so bothered about them and start saying negative things to let off steam.

        1. @john-h Exactly, it’s basically Sportsperson of the Year, as voted for by the public, after a committee decides who is on it. If they choose badly, we’re left with Hong Kong democracy.. I don’t see anyone getting worked up about that?! ;) Ah, that was so 2011..

      3. Well, it is a comment that technically isn’t incorrect – whilst Nico has a German racing licence, he officially is a dual national (German/Finnish) and originally entered the motorsport world with a Finnish licence – but it was still a clumsy response to the question put to Hamilton.

        1. Yeah you’re true, but its not cool to say that.

        2. Not really. It was poor reporting. Hamilton was smiling when he said it, and Rosberg, standing nearby, was also amused.

          However, that doesn’t contribute to the Prost/Senna feud that the media was so desperate to recreate. Anything either driver said was run through a microscope for something that might be offensive to someone somewhere.

          They’re both very determined, passionate athletes who know there’s only going to be one champion a season. You can’t expect them to be all smiles at each other all the time– that would be insincere, and not quite human.

    7. It was nice to see Lewis take the BBC SPOTY, he was nominated in 2008 but I think that would have been too soon in his career and personally would have felt him an unworthy recipient. We as the viewing public have watched Lewis mature in front of us, shared his highs and dissected his lows. He has taken the British public on one heck of a ride these last 8 seasons and I for one honestly feel that the right person was given the honour.

    8. Wow, I’ve read that the guy in the picture is Alonso and I trust Keith, but looking at it I still can’t believe that the guy on the right is FA. Looks completely different. Could it be an elaborate joke? :-)

        1. I know Briatore was a crook but I didn’t expect him to hire someone with guns like those. Also, the photo in the 1st link could easily be a meme.

        2. I found this caption competition, and the other photos from that shoot, an amazing blast from the past @keithcollantine, and I think a lot of us had a lot of fun with it!

    9. Congratulations to Lewis; I wonder how many votes for Rory McIlroy were registered from Monaco…?

      One thing that slightly soured the occasion for me was the exclusion of Andrea de Caesaris from the montage of sporting names that are no longer with us. Obviously he’s no Sir Jack, but his death was deemed newsworthy by the BBC earlier this year, and in that regard I hoped to have seen him included. Yes, the inclusion/exclusion issues for a piece like this are huge, but versus some of the other names included I thought Andrea warranted a place.

    10. When are the next set of rankings coming @keithcollantine ?
      They seem to be taking longer than usual thisbyear.
      Also I request you to do the teams rankings as well, your rankings are usually thost unbiased.

      1. Thanks very much! The driver rankings will continue later on today.

        I can’t see myself expanding it to teams rankings as well though – so much of their success is down to the performance of their car, and that’s largely reflected in the constructors’ championship standings.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          15th December 2014, 9:50

          and @keithcollantine did the statistical article on car performance 2 days ago.

        2. Quickly..!

    11. What a hypocrite ! In his speech he talked about “… carrying the Union Jack”. Bah ! He is a multimillionaire deliberately living outside the UK so that he doesn’t have to pay taxes to the Exchequer. He ought to be ashamed of himself. Never mind , the rest of us who cannot afford to live abroad will carry on paying the taxes that this great country needs to keep afloat !

      1. You can see proof of him carrying the union jack in the photo at the top of this very article! ;)

      2. Of course he is and so would you if you were him! Don’t forget F1 drivers have a limited number of career years.

        As for Lewis’s tax contribution, why should he give half his earnings away when you have tax-dodging multinationals like Amazon, Starbucks and Google getting away with billions of £s in tax! His tax dodging is a drop in the ocean.

        “Amazon, which had sales in the UK of £3.35bn in 2011, only reported a “tax expense” of £1.8m.”

        How come Button and Coulthard don’t/didn’t get this tax-dodging bashing nonsense?

        P.s. This country is not so great anymore which has absolutely nothing to do with Lewis Hamilton’s tax dodging!

      3. How much of that money does he earn in Britain?

        Only one race here last time I checked.

        He all also as you said, doesn’t live here or use the services those taxes pay for. So why should he pay them?

        Hamilton does a lot of charity work, I don’t begrudge him not paying tax to be used for bank bailouts.

      4. Almost as bad as Jenson Button and his Union Jack helmet but sneakily living in Monaco to avoid paying taxes. And as for DC and his Saltire helmet, living in, er, Monaco. What a treacherous trio.

        Anyway I’m grateful that some people take the time to express their pain that Lewis won something. Gives a clue to the personality he and Anthony have needed to get where they are. And apparently we have 7 more years to look forward to – time to get used to it, perhaps? :)

        PS he’s snowboarding in Colorado right now ;)

        1. I want to live in a world where people are not forced to live their whole lives in the country of their birth, if they would rather go elsewhere. Especially not merely for their tax input. Millions move to other countries all the time. Is the only difference whether or not they have to pay taxes? Is it a fact that LH is only in Monaco for the tax savings? Does he contribute nothing to that economy, nor in the UK? Even if it is in other ways besides taxes? Is he doing something illegal by doing so? So it’s not that LH et al isn’t paying taxes in Britain…it’s that he supposedly isn’t paying any?

          Furthermore, in my experience governments famously treat our tax dollars like they are a bottomless pit of money from which they are entitled to continuously draw, all the while squandering at least a third of them with greed and inefficiency. Taxes shouldn’t need to be nearly so high if they were efficiently administered, and if they were reasonable for the services provided countries would likely attract people and businesses, rather than repel them.

          1. Yes exactly @robbie, rich people are simply international these days, as the government will eventually find out with a shock horror discovery that even more are moving abroad, in response to the shallow mansion tax/stamp duty/50p income tax policies.

            If they want rich people to live in the UK, they have to motivate them. Though Nicole and Lewis have a flat in London now, apparently, so he’ll be paying the tax his accountants think he’s due to pay.

      5. What a ridiculous comment – You don’t have to pay taxes to be proud to be British, hell I’m not proud to know that I pay my taxes so that our government can throw them away on rubbish, I’d rather be living in a tax haven myself so I don’t have to fund our stupid government.

        Lewis races for Britain every time he goes out there, he constantly goes on about how proud he is to be british and how grateful he is to the british fans, he sports the union jack every weekend and did a lap of honour with the union jack when he won in abu dhabi, the only thing he doesn’t do is sing the anthem which no drivers do these days!

        If you want something that someone should be ashamed of then look at Rory Mcillroy, a man who has CHOSEN to play for the Republic of Ireland in the 2016 Rio Olympics rather than Great Britain, he was quite happy to be the favourite for the BRITISH sports personality of the year though, I was absolutely made up when I saw his sad little face when he only came second and I hope he never gets nominated again.

    12. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      15th December 2014, 10:45

      Love the caption!

      Really delighted to see Lewis win SPOTY, especially given the snotty ‘below the line’ comments in some UK newspapers – obviously, some people have deep-seated issues with him, but it seems that they’re just a (very vocal!) minority.

    13. All this “Hamilton doesn’t pay UK tax” crying is a joke. Every one of you would do the same if you earned that money. Who in their right mind would want to give George Osborne 1/2 their earnings?!

    14. The Blade Runner (@)
      15th December 2014, 11:50

      Whatever your opinions of Lewis, it’s great to see someone from the world of F1 get SPOTY.

      I said in a recent thread that he could be the key to introducing younger fans to the sport. Exposure like this will really help.

      The fact that he also really, really deserved the award helps!

    15. ColdFly F1 (@)
      15th December 2014, 12:17

      Must be F1 silly season; the main talking points: 1) discussion if the site is UK-centric; 2) where should Lewis pay his taxes; 3) review of 12 year old photos.

      Could be a long winter!

      1. Yeah, flip-flops, slightly flared trousers, khaki and grey combos, and clean-shaven – it’s a fashion-crash I could do without on a Monday morning!

      2. The Blade Runner (@)
        15th December 2014, 13:48

        Re: 1) and 2) – Seems to be the norm these days i.e. always look for the negative and apply maximum cynicism. The irony is that by making that statement I am doing the same. Grrrrr!

    16. “Disappointing semi for Romain”

    17. Disappointing semi for Romain (Lotus)
      “I won’t say that I wasn’t frustrated,” said Romain afterwards.

      Now if that’s not innuendo i don’t know what is.

    18. He deserves this.

    Comments are closed.