Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in
Formula 1

F1's five BBC's Sports Personality of the Year winners

With the 2022 BBC Sports Personality of the Year set to be named, RacingNews365 takes a look back at previous F1-related winners of the prestigious British award.

Hamilton Bahrain 2020
To news overview © XPBimages

The 2023 BBC Sports Personality of the Year is to be named on Wednesday evening.

The annual award is given to a British athlete who is deemed to have achieved the most in a given year.

While no Formula 1 drivers are among the six-strong shortlist for the 2023 gong, the championship has seen plenty of winners since the award began life in 1954.

Indeed, F1 is the third most successful in terms of overall placings in SPOTY history, with Athletics enjoying a total of 52 top-three placings, and Football 23, although only Athletics with 18 winners beats F1's total of eight.

Along with the overall award, Formula 1 has had winners of the Young Sports Personality of the Year (Jenson Button, 2000), Team of the Year (Cooper, 1960 & BRM, 1962), as well as World Sport Star of the Year (Niki Lauda, 1977 & Sebastian Vettel, 2013).

Max Verstappen has the chance to join Lauda and Vettel in winning the World Sports Star if successful against the likes of Novak Djokovic, Erling Haaland and Siya Kolisi in 2023.

RacingNews365 takes a look back through the archives at F1's winners of the main Sports Personality of the Year award.

			© xpb.cc
	© xpb.cc

1961 – Stirling Moss

Moss may never have won the F1 World Championship, but the Briton was the first active F1 driver to be named Sports Personality of the Year back in 1961.

That year saw Moss take one of his most famous Grand Prix victories, when he hustled his comparatively under-powered Lotus 18 to victory around the streets of Monaco, beating the more powerful Ferraris of Richie Ginther, Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips.

Moss also took an impressive win in changeable conditions at the German Grand Prix around the fearsome 14-mile Nurburgring, going on to finish third in the Drivers' Championship in what would be his final season of Grand Prix racing.

			© xpb.cc
	© xpb.cc

1973 – Jackie Stewart

F1's next Sports Personality of the Year was Jackie Stewart in 1973. The Briton retired from racing at the end of that year having just taken his third World Championship title, and had become a fierce advocate for improved safety conditions in F1.

Stewart's tally of 27 Grand Prix wins stood as a record for 14 years before it was toppled by Alain Prost in 1987, and the Scotsman also held the record for most wins by a British driver until Nigel Mansell took his 28th win at the 1992 British Grand Prix.

Following his retirement from competitive racing, Stewart turned his hand to a media career, serving for many years as a commentator and presenter for a variety of motor racing series.

			© Photo4
	© Photo4

1986, 1992 – Nigel Mansell

The first F1 driver to be twice named Sports Personality of the Year, Nigel Mansell's first award came at the end of a 1986 season in which he had looked set to win his first World Championship title, only for a dramatic tyre blowout in the season finale at Adelaide to scupper his chances.

In 1992, however, Mansell would not be denied, as he cruised to his only World Championship at the wheel of the all-conquering Williams FW14B, setting records for wins, pole positions and championship points in a single season.

The Briton's record-breaking year also saw him scoop his second SPOTY Award, before he decamped to America for a new challenge in CART, claiming the title at his first attempt in 1993.

For a week before Alain Prost won the 1993 F1 title, Mansell became the only person to simultaneously hold the F1 and US open-wheel titles.

			© Photo4
	© Photo4

1994, 1996 – Damon Hill

F1's next Sports Personality of the Year was also a two-time winner, with Damon Hill first winning the award in 1994 after coming agonisingly close to overhauling Michael Schumacher to that year's F1 title.

Having taken on greater leadership at Williams following the death of Ayrton Senna, Hill helped the team recover from that tragedy, and though he had a bad year in 1995, the Briton duly won his only World Championship title the following season, also collecting his second SPOTY award to boot.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

2014, 2020 – Lewis Hamilton

No surprises for guessing the identity of F1's next Sports Personality of the Year. Lewis Hamilton first took the award in 2014 after having edged teammate Nico Rosberg to that year's Drivers' Championship.

The Briton’s second SPOTY win came at the end of a 2020 season in which he had equalled Michael Schumacher's record of seven World Championship titles.

Though Hamilton's tally of SPOTY wins does not match his F1 title triumphs, the Briton has finished second in the BBC award on four more occasions, doing so in 2007, 2008, 2017 and 2018.

Hamilton actually holds the all-time SPOTY record for most top-three placings with six, but is second on the list behind Tennis player Sir Andy Murray.

Murray is the only three-time winner in the history of the award, winning in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

			© Photo4
	© Photo4

And one that could have been…

While Moss was the first athlete to win Sports Personality of the Year thanks to his achievements in F1, he is not the first F1 driver to win the award.

That honour goes instead to John Surtees, who won the 1959 award after romping to title glory in that year’s Grand Prix motorcycle racing season.

The Briton made the switch from bikes to cars during 1960, and in 1964 became the first man to win World Championships on both two and four wheels.

Join the conversation!

REPORT Red Bull file FIA complaint over McLaren trick