Hamil­ton set to snub BBC show

Sunday Observer - - SPORT -

SAO PAULO - Lewis Hamil­ton has de­liv­ered a blow to the BBC’s re­vamped Sports Per­son­al­ity of the Year show by re­veal­ing he is un­likely to at­tend the cer­e­mony. The five-time For­mula One world cham­pion is among the favourites for the award, but is likely in­stead to be at his win­ter train­ing base in Colorado.

His ab­sence fol­lows a suc­ces­sion of lead­ing fig­ures who have skipped the bloated show that will, this year, be held in Birm­ing­ham’s Gent­ing Arena on De­cem­ber 16. Last year, win­ner Mo Farah was linked up to the Liver­pool event from Lon­don via satel­lite, but the live con­nec­tion cut off im­me­di­ately after his step-daugh­ter Rhi­anna handed him the tro­phy.

Hamil­ton, who turned up to win the award in 2014, is ex­pected to be on the six-man short­list that will only be an­nounced on the night, to counter in­ter­est groups drum­ming up sup­port and dis­tort­ing the nat­u­ral na­tional vote.

He is third favourite for the prize after Tour de France win­ner Geraint Thomas and Eng­land skip­per Harry Kane.

Speak­ing ahead of to­day's Brazil­ian Grand Prix, Hamil­ton said: “It is most un­likely I will go this year. I don’t re­ally think about it. I re­mem­ber stand­ing up there be­fore and I was blown away be­cause all the pub­lic have called in and sup­ported me.

“But stand­ing up there in front of all those peo­ple and re­ceiv­ing an award is not some­thing I re­ally like. “I of­ten avoid it if I can. If I go to a gala, I like see­ing peo­ple get up and speak after do­ing great things, but I don’t like hav­ing to get up my­self. I feel awk­ward.” Hamil­ton was sec­ond quick­est in prac­tice in Sao Paulo on Fri­day be­hind his Mercedes team-mate Valt­teri Bot­tas.

Lewis Hamil­ton.

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