Reigning Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has jointly been crowned the Laureus Sportsman of the Year for 2020 alongside footballer Lionel Messi.

Hamilton won his sixth F1 drivers’ world title in 2019 to move on the verge of equalling Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven world championships.

The 35-year-old Briton and Messi shared the men’s title, which marked the first time Hamilton has won the award. It is also the first time that the award has been won by two people.

Hamilton is the first F1 driver to have been named Laureus Sportsman of the Year since Sebastian Vettel in 2014.

As well as claiming his third consecutive drivers’ world title, Hamilton contributed to maintaining Mercedes’ incredible streak of dominance as the German manufacturer secured its sixth straight world championship double.

American gymnast Simone Biles won her third Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award, while the South African Rugby Union Team beat Liverpool F.C and Mercedes to the team’s award.

Hamilton used his speech to highlight issues he believes F1 currently faces, including a lack of diversity, something he has been recently shared his concerns over.

"I grew up in a sport that has really given my life meaning," Hamilton said. “I’m so, so grateful for what it’s provided me.

"But actually I've grown up in a sport which has very little to no diversity and I think it's an issue we are continually facing.

“It's all of our responsibilities to use our platform to push for gender equality and for inclusivity and for really making sure we are engaging and representing what the world is today."

 

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