Seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton to be knighted in New Years’ Hours list: Reports

Lewis Hamilton is set to become Sir Lewis Hamilton after reports the seven-time F1 world champion was set to be knighted in the New Years’ Honours list.

Hamilton has been a surprise omission in the past but as he equalled Michael Schumacher’s world record and beat his all-time race wins record, it seemed inevitable he was to be given the honour.

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Three F1 drivers have been knighted so far – Sir Stirling Moss, who never won a world title, three-time champion Sir Jackie Stewart and three-time Australian champion Sir Jack Brabham.

While Hamilton had already received an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for his first world title, fans were hoping he would receive a higher honour for his achievements in the sport.

Since then Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah, Andy Murray and Alastair Cook have all been knighted for services to sport while still active.

But reports have revealed that Hamilton is set to receive the honour, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson personally ensuring the F1 legend was on the list.

Questions have previously been raised about whether it’s because Hamilton lives in Monaco and is avoiding tax, but the rumour was debunked last year as Peter Hain, who sits on the All Party Parliamentary Group for F1, revealed Hamilton is one of the top 5000 taxpayers in the country because of his work with the Mercedes team.

Is seven world titles enough for Lewis Hamilton to be knighted?Source:Getty Images

Speaking last week, Hamilton said he didn’t feel like he deserved to be knighted.

“When I think about being knighted, I think of people like my grandad who served in the war. And Captain Tom, who waited 100 years,” he said.

“Then you have these doctors and nurses who are saving lives at this hardest time ever. I don’t look at myself as an unsung hero. I haven’t saved anybody.”

At the Bahrain Grand Prix, Hamilton said he would be honoured to accept.

“I would never ever turn down the Royal family. I grew up in the UK and am a massive fan of them,” he said.

“It is very surreal, when you grew up watching the news like everyone else, hearing your name in the House of Lords or the House of Commons or in parliament. It is very very surreal to hear that with all the things going on in the world that they have a moment and acknowledge the work that I have done.

“As far as I am aware, there is a lot of talk and I have not really thought a lot about it, but it would be an incredible honour. There is no greater honour that your country recognising you and honouring you with such an award.”

Former F1 champion Damon Hill agreed that Hamilton did deserve the honour.

“Lewis has always been breaking down barriers, the moment he arrived in F1 or even in karting he was breaking barriers and challenging the status quo,” he said.

“The knighthood will be seen as recognition of not just his driving but also as a black driver that has bust another door open for anyone who is not white. He has destroyed the preconception that it can’t be done, that there is an area where you cannot achieve something because of the colour of your skin.”

Lewis Hamilton spoke before the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend started.Source:Getty Images

Similarly tennis champion Sir Andy Murray also backed Hamilton’s claim.

“I‘m not necessarily all for sportspeople being given knighthoods for what we do,” Murray, who was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours four years ago for services to tennis and charity, told Good Morning Britain earlier in the week.

“But in terms of what he has achieved as an athlete, of course he deserves it. As a sportsperson, he‘s one of the most successful sportspeople in the history of the country. He’s an amazing driver.

“He supports some great causes as well away from the racing track, so yes I would say he definitely deserves it in terms of his success.”

Hamilton has been outspoken in the 2020 F1 season around the Black Lives Matter movement and also told reporters that he wanted to make a difference in some of the more controversial locations the sport visits around the world.

“When I arrived here around midday on Thursday, I received some letters and I have not had a lot of time to digest them and that‘s something I need to take some time to do.

“The human rights issue in so many of the places that we go to is a massive problem.

“It is very important, that has shown this year how important it is, not only for us as a sport but all the sports around the world to utilise the platforms they have and to push for change.

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