A day after losing out on a record eighth Formula One world title in controversial circumstances, Hamilton was omitted from the list of six sporting stars in line to pick up the award on Sunday.
The 36-year-old won Sports Personality for the second time last year after equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles.
Olympic and Paralympic stars Tom Daley, Adam Peaty and Dame Sarah Storey are also included following their performances in Tokyo this summer.
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling makes up the final six after starring in England’s run to the Euro 2020 final.
Missing names on Sports Personality of the Year shortlist
There was disbelief that Lewis Hamilton didn’t make the shortlist from many on Twitter reacting to the final six names.
One asked “Where is Lewis?”, while another said “Lewis robbed again”.
There were also calls for Mark Cavendish to be included.
The cyclist broke the record for most Tour de France stage wins in this year’s edition of the race, after initially not being selected to take part.
One said: “Where’s Mark Cavendish? Biggest cycling story/achievement of the year times 10 and then some.”
And another added: “It’s a shocking decision not to include Cav. The Tour comeback was the biggest sport’s story of the year. Absolute disgrace to leave him out.”
The BBC show will be held at Media City in Salford on Sunday without a studio audience because of concerns over rising coronavirus infections.