The 35-year-old claimed his seventh Formula 1 title this year to equal Michael Schumacher’s record, and overcame Jordan Henderson and Hollie Doyle to win the broadcaster’s prestigious prize after a public vote.
In October the Mercedes driver eclipsed Schumacher’s record of race wins, with his 92nd success coming at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
This is his second BBC prize, having also won it in 2014.
England midfielder Henderson skippered the Reds to their first league title in 30 years, and they remain on course to retain the championship this season and are top of the Premier League heading into the busy Christmas period.
Henderson was also widely praised for his role in the #PlayersTogether campaign which raised funds for NHS charities during the coronavirus pandemic.
Doyle broke her own record for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey before enjoying a Champions Day double at Ascot – including her first Group One aboard Glen Shiel in the British Champions Sprint. The other three members of the six-person shortlist were Tyson Fury, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stuart Broad.
Marcus Rashford’s incredible efforts off the pitch were recognised with a special award.
The England and Manchester United footballer led a successful campaign to extend the provision of free school meals for vulnerable children during the spring lockdown.
Henderson’s Liverpool side were chosen as the Team of the Year after they ended a 30-year wait for a league title, while Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was recognised as Coach of the Year.
The Young Sports Personality of the Year for 2020 was 16-year-old diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, while the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year prize was given to mixed martial arts star Khabib Nurmagomedov. He claimed his 29th professional win – without a single defeat – over Justin Gaethje in October.
Captain Sir Tom Moore was chosen as the winner of the Helen Rollason Award for his phenomenal fundraising efforts during the first lockdown.
Captain Tom, who celebrated his 100th birthday this year, raised £38.9m for the NHS while walking laps of his garden. He was knighted in the summer.
His efforts were an inspiration to the country in a dark period, and to no-one more than nine-year-old Tobias Weller, from Sheffield, who received the very first Captain Tom Young Unsung Hero of the Year award.
Tobias, who suffers from cerebral palsy, completed the length of a marathon during lockdown with the aid of his walker. Tobias also began a new ‘Tobiathon’ challenge to run the same distance using a race runner.
He raised over £150,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Pace school.
The Unsung Hero award was given posthumously to Sergeant Matiu Ratana, who was shot dead on police duty earlier this year. Ratana, a keen rugby player and coach, served as a sergeant in the Met for almost 30 years.
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