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Max Verstappen

Verstappen can equal Lauda and Vettel if he wins prestigious award

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year takes place on Tuesday, 19th December, with Max Verstappen a contender for the World Sports Star of the Year.

Verstappen Abu Dhabi
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Max Verstappen is one of six contenders for the BBC Sports Personality World Sports Star of the Year - and can match Niki Lauda and Sebastian Vettel if he wins.

The newly-crowned three-time World Champion is up for the award for the second time, after being beaten by Lionel Messi in 2022 after the Argentina captain guided his team to FIFA World Cup victory in Qatar.

Verstappen improved on his 2022 efforts by taking 19 wins from 22 races, recording 575 championship points, becoming the first driver to lead over 1,000 laps in a season and recorded the highest difference in points between first and second, finishing 290 ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez.

Should Verstappen win the award, voted for by fans, he will become just the third F1 driver to win the World Sports Star of the Year award, following on from Lauda in 1977 and Vettel in 2013.

Remarkably, Michael Schumacher never won the award, with the likes of Tiger Woods, Ronaldo, Lance Armstrong and Roger Federer winning during his five-year Ferrari heyday - although Armstrong's award was later cancelled.

Below is a table of the six contenders for the BBC World Sports Star of the Year for 2023, with the result set to be announced during the show on December 19th.

BBC World Sports Star of the Year nominees

Contender Sport Previous win?
Simone Biles Gymnastics 2016
Aitana Bonmati Football N/A
Novak Djokovic Tennis 2011
Erling Halend Football N/A
Siya Kolisi Rugby Union N/A
Max Verstappen Formula 1 N/A

The other contenders

Verstappen is up against two previous winners of the award in Simone Biles and Novak Djokovic.

Biles returned to competition in gymnastics after a mental health break, claiming four golds and a silver in the World Championships and is now also the most decorated female gymnast in history.

Djokovic broke Rafael Nadal's men's record of 22 Grand Slams with victory in the French Open, having also secured a record 10th Australian Open earlier in the year.

He also won the US Open but lost in the Wimbledon final to Carlos Alcaraz as he narrowly failed to win all four titles in the same year, and also passed Steffi Graf's record for most weeks spent as World Number 1.

Elsewhere, Women's World Cup player of the tournament and Ballon D'Or winner Aitana Bonmati is nominated alongside fellow footballer Erling Haaland whose record-breaking goal tally propelled Manchester City to the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.

The other contender is South African Rugby captain Siya Kolisi who led his side to a fourth World Cup, defending the trophy they won in Japan in 2019 to become the most successful team of all-time after defeating fellow three-time winners New Zealand in a titanic final.

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