LONDON — Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton capped another successful year by claiming the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award Sunday.
The 35-year-old Mercedes driver, who equaled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 titles last month, overcame Jordan Henderson and Hollie Doyle to win the British broadcaster’s prestigious prize in a public vote.
Hamilton has been a vocal advocate in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, joining a march in London and creating a council to diversity F1. He has been resolute about his outspoken activism, vowing “he won’t give up this platform” after wearing a shirt reading “Arrest The Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor” before and after his Sept. 13 victory at Mugello.
“I been thinking of all those who voted to support me last night, I am truly so grateful,” Hamilton wrote in thanking fans in a heartfelt social media post. “Thank you to the British public for this honour, it means the most because it comes from you. I’m sending you all positivity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Hamilton also won the BBC prize in 2014.
Doyle broke her own record for the most victories in a calendar year by a female jockey before enjoying a Champions Day double at Ascot – including her first Group One aboard Glen Shiel in the British Champions Sprint.
England midfielder Henderson led Liverpool to its first Premier League title in 30 years. Henderson was also praised for his role in the #PlayersTogether campaign, which raised funds for National Health Service charities during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"I want to say thank you to everyone who voted for me."@LewisHamilton took home the Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday night.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 21, 2020
Hamilton missed the Dec. 6 race at Bahrain after contracting COVID-19. He returned to finish third in the season finale at Abu Dhabi despite still feeling under the weather.
He recently posted that he lost 4 kg and significant muscle mass while recovering from the virus and had been working out to regain his strength.