Verstappen nominated for BBC SPOTY World Sports Star award

Max Verstappen has been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year’s World Sports Star award ahead of the 2021 prize giving later this month.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, lifts his trophy

The BBC holds its annual SPOTY event each December to celebrate the greatest British sporting achievements of the year.

Lewis Hamilton is a two-time winner of the main award, including last year, but F1 title rival Verstappen is set to be up for the international World Sports Star gong.

The nominees for the award were announced by the BBC on Monday morning, and comes following a fraught Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that included a number of incidents between Hamilton and Verstappen.

Verstappen is one of six nominees for the award, along with 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 has fought for his maiden F1 title in 2021, winning nine races so far this season, and will head into the Abu Dhabi finale tied on points with Hamilton.

Voting is now open for the World Sports Star award via the BBC’s website, and will close on Tuesday 14 December, five days before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.

Verstappen will face stiff competition to win the award. Alvarez became the first undisputed world super-middleweight champion in boxing last month, making history by holding belts from four separate governing bodies at the same time.

Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Grand National back in April, while Brady helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl in American Football, marking his seventh victory.

Tennis player Novak Djokovic won three grand slam titles in 2021 - the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon - to take his tally to 20. Thompson-Herah claimed three gold medals for Jamaica at the Tokyo Olympics, winning the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m finals.

BBC World Sports Star award nominees

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (Mexico, boxing)

Rachael Blackmore (Ireland, horse racing)

Tom Brady (USA, American football)

Novak Djokovic (Serbia, tennis)

Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jamaica, athletics)

Max Verstappen (Netherlands, Formula 1)

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