Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has become the fourth F1 driver to receive a Knighthood as he is named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
The Briton follows in the steps of three-time world champions Jack Brabham and Jackie Stewart and four-time runner-up, Stirling Moss.
However, while Brabham (1978), Stewart (2001) and Moss (2000), were all honoured after retiring from the sport, Hamilton is the first to be honoured whilst still racing.
Despite a heavily revised schedule this year, Hamilton has secured his seventh title, thereby equalling Michael Schumacher.
However, the Briton has set a number of new records in the process, not least in becoming the sport’s winningest driver with 95 wins to his credit.
Yet Hamilton is widely known outside the paddock, and is genuinely one of the world’s sporting superstars, with interests well away from the race track including music, movies and fashion.
This year the Briton has put F1 on the front pages of the world’s media courtesy of his activism, most notably for Black Lives Matter. Indeed, having caused Chase Carey’s wife to delete her Twitter account, Hamilton was a prime factor in the sport creating its diversity and equality initiative, We Race As One.
“Lewis is a true giant of our sport and his influence is huge both in and out of a car,” said Stefano Domenicali who takes over as CEO of F1 on 1st January. “What he has achieved is phenomenal with still more to come.
“All of us at F1 congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition of his achievements and look forward to seeing more of his brilliance in 2021.”
“Lewis is one of the very greatest racing drivers of all time and the most successful British sportsperson of his era,” added Toto Wolff. “Around the world, he has long been recognised for his sporting achievement, this year, he combined his excellence on the track with a powerful voice to fight discrimination. In every sense, he led the way in 2020.
“The news that he is to receive a knighthood shows that he is now receiving the recognition he has earned during a career of unparalleled success in motorsport. The UK can be very proud to have a champion and ambassador of the calibre of Sir Lewis Hamilton.”
Meanwhile, the legendary Jimmy Greaves, who remains the fourth most prolific goal scorer for England, and is now wheelchair bound after suffering a severe stroke in 2015, having played his last competitive football match in 1971, is awarded an MBE.