Rea And Hamilton Feature At SPOTY 2017
Graham Read, Formula 1 Correspondent
Sir Mo Farah may have won the top award at yesterday evening’s annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year event, held this year in Liverpool, but two leading figures on two and four wheels also featured amongst the twelve finalists.
The name Jonathan Rea was probably little known outside the motorbike racing world and his native Northern Ireland before yesterday, but the likeable 30 year old from Ballyclare changed all that when he finished as a highly impressive runner-up to Farah. Married with two young children, Rea was genuinely surprised by his success, commenting “It means so much because it’s a public vote, I’m so humbled. Thank you everybody so much”.
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Rea will again be partnered by Tom Sykes at the Kawasaki Racing Team in 2018 as he seeks to add a further World Superbike championship victory to his already eye-catching CV.
In contrast, quadruple Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, now 32, is a household name around the world and became the most successful British F1 driver ever this season. However, the Monaco based racer from Stevenage did not receive the same amount of public support as Rea yesterday evening when viewers were invited to vote and finished in sixth place, one position lower than the fifth place he achieved in the 2015 Sports Personality of the year contest.
Hamilton began his Formula 1 career back in 2007, driving for the Woking based McLaren team and winning his first title with them the following year. Subsequently he left McLaren for Mercedes with effect from the start of the 2013 season and has added further drivers’ titles in 2014, 2015 and 2017 with the sport’s most dominant team since 2014.
Hamilton will continue to race alongside Valtteri Bottas for the same Brackley based team in next year’s F1 campaign.
Rea And Hamilton Feature At SPOTY 2017, 17th December 2017, 15:22 PM