Ritchie thinks Hamilton should not be sports personality of the year

Because he’s a tax exile.

But it was still profoundly disappointing to find Lewis Hamilton won. Apart from the obvious question about whether Formula 1 is a sport and the questions that need to be asked about so many of its financial arrangements the simple fact is that I thought that this was an event focussed on UK sporting achievements and Hamilton is a tax exile.

He then says:

McIlroy would have been better

McIlroy lives in Florida…..

And given the schedule, 19 races around he world, week of practice before each one, further testing at various tracks around the world. It’s not obvious that a Formula 1 driver who was nominally resident in the UK would actually be tax resident….

18 thoughts on “Ritchie thinks Hamilton should not be sports personality of the year”

  1. Well, there’s not actually very much testing done in F1 now because of FIA restrictions, just three 3-day pre-season sessions, and there’s a few days of press plus practice and qualifying before each race, as well as sponsor commitments during the season. (None of which takes away from the fact that Ritchie is a prize tit.)

  2. I’m thoroughly uninterested in sport and Formula 1, but I’m still well enough informed to get pissed off by this ignorance:

    Apart from the obvious question about whether Formula 1 is a sport

    Obvious if you don’t know what a sport is, yes.

    As far as I can tell, the argument is that the drivers can’t actually run that fast; they use machines. Gosh. If physical strength is a prerequisite, anyone with half a brain might realise that the G-forces involved might cause a bit of a strain. But of course it isn’t, as that would rule out snooker and shooting. Both of which require accuracy and concentration. Like driving.

  3. Hamilton seems to be a particular target of the ‘hate the tax exile brigade’. His name seems to come up in those kind of diatribes with some frequency. Why him particularly? its not as though he’s the only one. Lets face it, you dont have to be a multimillionaire to want to live away from our fabulous weather and even more wonderful politicians. If I could, I would…

  4. Err, pardon me for asking, but doesn’t his party of choice regard such comments as racist?

    Or am I not keeping up and it’s all magically changed after twenty years?

  5. Presumably the BBC is now expected to send their proposed SPOTY 2015 list to Ritchie first for vetting.

    Is there no area of life that he can’t micromanage?

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    The Stigler – “My main problem with F1 is that it’s really a team sport, not an individual one. Stick Hamilton in a Force India car next year and see if he can win it.”

    Not just a team sport but actually a competition among designers. Who are all the same bunch of blokes in the South East of England. It is hard to shake the feeling that you could put a trained monkey in a F1 car and still have a win.

    (A feeling that is actually unfair. Great drivers do win a lot. On the other hand Senna’s career, while not entirely dependent on having a great team, certainly benefited a lot from it, and was badly held back by piddling legal challenges to his cars’ designs)

  7. bloke (not) in spain

    Weird thing with F1, it’d be entirely technically possible to take the drivers out of the cars & be more competitive. If the rules didn’t require a trained monkey at the wheel.

  8. Any definition of sport excluding competitive motor racing would be very artificial. I find it bizarre to even make that as an aside ,, I wasn’t aware that this was even a thing.
    Hamilton has reached the pinnacle of a very very hard sport to reach the pinnacle of. He’s not won affection so much (don’t you have to lose to do that in Britain?) but the award shows that he has won respect.

  9. If Farage had have uttered ‘I don’t think Hamilton should have won’ Ritchie and his ilk would be shouting ‘raceeest’

  10. Most sports are team sports -Ryan Giggs might have won a world cup if he had chosen to play for England (or put another way England might have).In racing driving, personality – Hunt v Lauda? We know who was probably the better driver in terms of wining, but its SPOTY not guy with most points. I seem to remember a Top Gear episode where Richard Hammond – who I think we can assume is a pretty competent driver – could not actually drive a formula one car fast enough for the engineering to work properly – the tyres to grip, the downforce to work etc. To succeed at the top level F1 drivers need an elite level of strength and co-ordination as well as lighting fast reflexes and information processing.

  11. I an an F1 driver. Ritchie’s passport tax has offered massive tax planning opportunities. My Irish services and investment companies (EU and so not covered eh Richard) are earning all the money and paying me just enough to live on. Of course I pay tax on this salary in the UK, I’m not a tax cheat!

    Obviously with my deemed residence status – ah that passport tax – I no longer qualify as a foreign entertainer and, as my salary is only about 3% of the companies’ earnings, I am paying less.tax in the UK.than I used to.

    Thanks Richard Murphy, Tax Expert. Now, how can I reduce the tax paid on my childrens’ nanny?

  12. I remember a set of TV series (Superstars?) in the 1970s/1980s(?) where groups of sports champions were put through a sort of decathlon. F1 drivers in general and Hunt in particular always came at or near the top.

    F1 requires strength, fitness, coordination, fast reflexes, acceleration, stamina and everything else needed to be an elite athlete. And it needs all of them not just one or two.

    Of course there are some dipshits who think motor racing is just about sitting in a car and moving a few pedals and a steering wheel.

    It’s always fun to see self-appointed experts demonstrate their ignorance. I know nothing about taxation or economics. That’s why I stay away.

  13. Oh dear. I see so-claimed tax expert Murphy is making clear his lack of understanding of domicile on the ‘SPOTY’ blog.

    Is there no end to the man’s ignorance on tax?

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