Arise Sir Lewis: F1 champion Hamilton gets his knighthood


Seven-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was awarded a knighthood in the UK New Year’s honours list published on Wednesday.

Hamilton, 35, became the most successful F1 driver of all time after equalling Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s record seven titles and beating the German’s 91 race wins.

The sport’s only black driver, who grew up in social housing as the grandson of Caribbean immigrants, he has also used his profile to campaign for diversity and speak out against racial injustice.

Hamilton, a resident of Monaco , whose presence on the overseas and international list, rather than a main one with many rewarded for service to public health in a pandemic, was seen as a reflection of his tax status.

The Daily Mail newspaper said Prime Minister Boris Johnson had “bent the rules” to get around the tax requirements for domestic awards.

The citation referred to Hamilton’s sporting record and his “charitable and philanthropic contributions in the UK and overseas”.

“Lewis is a true giant of our sport and his influence is huge both in and out of a car,” said newly-appointed Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali, a former Ferrari team principal.

“What he has achieved is phenomenal with still more to come.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff hailed Hamilton, who won his first title with McLaren in 2008, as the most successful British sportsperson of his era.

The knighthood, he added, showed that Hamilton — often seen as a polarising figure — was “now receiving the recognition he has earned during a career of unparalleled success in motorsport”.

Hamilton is the fourth F1 driver to be knighted after the late Australian Jack Brabham, Stirlin Moss and triple champion Jackie Stewart and the only one to have received the award while still racing.

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