Champion Hamilton in pole position again

IAN COLE on the claims of Lewis Hamilton to retain the Sportsman of the Year title

Lewis Hamilton is not short on self-belief. Our 2007 Sportsman of the Year thoroughly enjoyed his lunch with us 12 months ago.

Hamilton has done nothing to disappoint. He has won a few Formula One races this season – Melbourne, Monaco, Silverstone and Hockenheim – and led the drivers’ championship at halfway.

He was scandalously treated at Spa, where the stewards took away his race victory when all the experts agreed he had done nothing wrong.

If you love hearing the National Anthem played then tune in to ITV on a Sunday at around 2.30pm and it’s a fair bet the lad from Stevenage will be up there dispensing the champagne.

After Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, Hamilton has arrived to keep the Union Jack flying in F1 when David Coulthard and Jenson Button were found wanting.

Last year’s SJA honour came after Hamilton had finished second in the drivers’ championship. Will he claim your vote this year if he becomes world champion?

Lewis Hamilton is pictured above receiving the SJA’s Sportsman of the Year trophy from Manchester United and England’s Sir Bobby Charlton. Picture by Steve Rowe/SJA

Click here for a full shortlist of likely contenders for the 60th annual SJA Sports Awards

If you are an SJA member and want to cast your vote for the 2008 Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year, click here and complete the easy-to-follow form.

Book your ticket for the 2008 SJA British Sports Awards – click here for the form, including the members’ price discount