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Hamilton wins BBC award

NEWS STORY
15/12/2014

2014 world champion Lewis Hamilton has won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The Briton, the first F1 driver to win the award since Damon Hill in 1996, who previously won it in 1994, beat off stiff opposition from golfer Rory McIlroy, who finished runner-up, and athlete Jo Pavey who finished third.

The award, which is based on votes from the public, saw Hamilton take 209,920 of the 620,932 votes cast (34%), McIlroy getting 123,745 (20%) and Pavey 99,913 (16%).

"I was sitting there saying Rory's going to have it," admitted Hamilton, who was accompanied by his dog Roscoe. "I thought it had to be someone else."

"I want to say a huge thank you to all the people who called in, I really wasn't expecting it," he added. "I am so speechless. I'm so proud and honoured to be among such great sporting talent.

"I could not have done this without my amazing team, my family, my dad who once had four jobs to help me, my brother... I've been incredibly inspired by them," said a clearly emotional Hamilton.

"Thank you to all the fans. I always say we win and lose together because I feel your love. I hope I will continue to make you proud."

Previous F1 drivers to win the award, other than Hill, are Nigel Mansell in 1986 and 1992), Stirling Moss in 1961 and Jackie Stewart in 1973.

Elsewhere, in Barbados, David Coulthard won the Race of Champions beating Mercedes F1 reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein in the final.

The best-of-three Grand Final boiled down to a battle of F1 drivers young and old. But in the end Coulthard saw off Wehrlein to become Champion of Champions for the first time.

The Scot had been in the Race Of Champions Grand Final once before, when he lost out by the narrowest margin to rally legend Sebastien Loeb at Wembley in 2008. This time he prevailed over his young German challenger, who can nonetheless be proud of his run to the Grand Final at the first attempt.

"We've had a fantastic week, never mind a fantastic race weekend," said Coulthard. "So huge thanks to all the wonderful people of Barbados for coming out - and of course to Fredrik Johnsson and his team at ROC. I'm retired so it's lovely to get another trophy. But I think everyone can see that in Pascal we have a star for the future. He's already signed up with Mercedes in Formula 1 as a reserve driver and winning races in the DTM so motor sport's in good health with great young drivers like this.

"I'm pleasantly very surprised and I'm slightly embarrassed because there's such great talent out there. Maybe not racing for two years is the secret! Of course I don't race any more - but at this event I had the advantage because being 23 years older than Pascal I'm used to changing gear whereas he was looking for the semi-automatic shift! It's been a good weekend so thank you to the Race Of Champions, thank you to Barbados and I think a small rum punch is in order..."

"It was a pleasure for me to be here and to drive in the Race Of Champions," added Wehrlein. "It was so much fun, but in the end David did really well. I couldn't beat him - maybe because for me it's a bit tough to drive a manual shift car with a clutch and everything. I'm used to driving with shift pedals and braking with my left foot so I was struggling a bit with that. But today David was unbeatable so congratulations to him. To reach the Grand Final and lose against him is not bad for my first year. During the weekend I've improved so maybe I'll come back next year and see what happens..."

On Saturday, Tom Kristensen and Petter Solberg stormed to the ROC Nations Cup title for Team Nordic, the duo defeating Team Scotland's David Coulthard and Susie Wolff by two heats to one in the final.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Jonno, 15/12/2014 12:28

"A good news day for F1. CVC should use the opportunity to sack Bernie and the story will be hidden under Hamiltons great win.
"

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