Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has been voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020.

The 35-year-old Mercedes driver won his seventh F1 world title this season to draw level with Michael Schumacher’s all-time record for most world championships, having won 11 of the 16 races he contested.

Hamilton also surpassed Schumacher’s previous benchmark for most grand prix victories on 91 as he ended the year having won a total of 95 races throughout his career as well as taking 98 pole positions.

It is the second time that Hamilton has been crowned the winner of the BBC’s SPOTY award, adding to his previous success in 2014 following his first title triumph with Mercedes. 

"I just want to say congratulations to all the incredible nominees because I'm so proud of what they have achieved this year and I really want to say thank you for everyone that's called in and voted for me," Hamilton said.

"I really wasn't expecting this knowing that there's so many great contenders. But I think we're all winners, and I really want to send a Merry Christmas to everyone.

"I know it's been such an unusual year, but to all the frontline workers and all the children around the world: please try and stay positive, through this difficult time.

"I'm sending everyone positivity and, again, thank you from the bottom of my heart."

The Briton has been SPOTY runner-up on a total of four occasions. He finished second in 2007 after narrowly missing out on winning the F1 title in his rookie season, and also missed out on the award in 2008, 2018 and most recently in 2019 despite winning world championships in each year.

Hamilton most recently ended up as runner-up when he finished second behind England cricketer Ben Stokes in 2019. 

This year’s SPOTY awards were presented from the home of BBC Sport in Media City in Salford, but were a socially distant affair due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hamilton joined the ceremony via video link. 

Hamilton finished first in the votes ahead of Liverpool football captain Jordan Henderson and jockey Hollie Doyle, who completed the top three.