Third favourite Lewis Hamilton set to snub BBC’s revamped Sports Personality of the Year show
- Five-time Formula One world champion is among the favourites for the award
- But Hamilton is likely to skip event and be at his winter training base in Colorado
- Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and Harry Kane also expected to feature
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.
Lewis Hamilton looks on ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos this weekend
Lew Hamilton is among the favourites for the SPOTY award 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.
Hamilton is likely to miss the ceremony as he will be at his winter training base in Colorado
The Brit will be hoping to land Mercedes the Constructors’ Championship this weekend
Speaking ahead of Sunday’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.
Ferrari have to score 13 points more than Mercedes to deny the Northamptonshire-based team the constructors’ title this weekend.