Hamilton set to snub BBC show
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.