Lewis Hamilton has emerged as the hot favourite to win the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award for a second time after he was formally confirmed as one of six nominees for the 2020 prize.

In the year Hamilton cemented his status as one of motorsport’s greatest ever competitors by clinching a seventh F1 World Championship title - drawing level with Michael Schumacher’s record - and surpassing the German’s erstwhile all-time grand prix victory tally of 91, accolades beyond F1 are expected to pour in for the Briton.

Hamilton will battle it out with Tyson Fury (Boxing), Hollie Doyle (Horse Racing), Stuart Broad (Cricket), Jordan Henderson (Football) and Ronnie O’Sullivan (Snookier) in a public vote that will take place on December 20.

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Since the nominations were announced on Tuesday, Hamilton has quickly emerged as odds-on to take home the award, with an average of ⅖ being taken on bets.

Despite his seven world titles, Hamilton has only achieved one SPOTY win, in 2014. However, he has been nominated onto the final shortlist on seven occasions, four of which yielded second place finishes; in 2007, 2007, 2018 and 2019.

An awards ceremony that can trace its origins right back to 1954 the BBC SPOTY prize celebrates British sporting achievement over the course of the year and has become a popular annual fixture in the run up to Christmas.

While all sports have been hampered by the coronavirus this year, F1 shook off an aborted opener in Australia and a late season start in July to maintain a rapid tempo across a hastily re-arranged schedule ever since.

Despite this, Mercedes emphasised its status as this generation’s most dominant team with arguably its most comprehensive campaign yet, while Hamilton is one win shy of a 12th victory that - despite a season abbreviated from 22 to 15 races - would make this his most lucrative title win yet.

However, with a coronavirus diagnosis ruling him out of this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix penultimate round, Hamilton remains a doubt for the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi too. 

Beyond Hamilton, there was disappointment that Jonathan Rea - who finished a shock second to Mo Farah in 2017 - wasn’t recognised for his sixth consecutive WorldSBK Championship title in 2020.