Max Verstappen nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won a nomination for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year’s World Sports Star award (BBC SPOTY award) ahead of the 2021 prize ceremony later this month.
The BBC presents their annual SPOTY event each December to commemorate the greatest British athletic achievements of the year.
Already, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is a two-time winner of the main award, including last year. But Verstappen who is a formidable Formula One title challenger is poised to be nominated for the worldwide World Sports Star trophy.
The candidates for the prize were announced by the BBC on Monday morning. The announcement came following a difficult Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that saw a number of confrontations between Hamilton and Verstappen.
Verstappen is one of six nominees for the prize. Others are Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Rachael Blackmore, Tom Brady, Novak Djokovic and Elaine Thompson-Herah.
The most recent F1 winner of the international award was Sebastian Vettel in 2013, back when it was known as Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.
Verstappen fought for his maiden F1 title in 2021, winning nine races so far this season. He is approaching the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale equal on points with Hamilton.
Voting is now open for the World Sports Star award via the BBC’s website and will close on December 14. This will be five days before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year celebration.
Max Verstappen BBC spoty award, still faces tight competition to win.
Meanwhile, there were a lot of incidents on Sunday’s Jeddah Corniche Circuit race between Verstappen and Hamilton.
Hamilton and Verstappen clashed when Verstappen tried to give Hamilton the lead back by slowing down to give him a five-second penalty.
To make matters more interesting, Verstappen took the lead after Hamilton dubbed the manoeuvre “sudden.” Hamilton then won the race, tying him with Verstappen for the championship lead going into the title decider in Abu Dhabi.
Red Bull instructed Verstappen to hand the lead back to Hamilton “strategically” ahead of the final corner so that he would be able to use the DRS on the main straight and reclaim the lead.
It was evident that neither driver wanted to seize the lead before DRS detection line 3. According to the stewards, Verstappen “slowed significantly at Turn 26.”
There was some confusion as to why Hamilton had not passed Verstappen. The Red Bull driver said he was not aware that he was handing the slot back to him.
Stewards found that Verstappen’s quick braking manoeuvre resulted in a 2.4g deceleration, which they called “erratic” and hence “the major cause of the collision.” This was decisive for them.
The bulletin concludes with the normal penalty of 10 seconds for this type of conduct.
Verstappen finished 16 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas in third place, thus the Red Bull driver retains his position at the top of the podium.
At 1:36 a.m. local time in Jeddah, the stewards stated that Verstappen had been given a 10-second time penalty for causing an accident.
The Dutch racing driver has not had a rosy season in 2021 but has outdone himself in dethroning Hamilton who rules F1.