Lewis Hamilton is awarded a knighthood on the New Year’s Honor list after winning his seventh world championship this year.
Hamilton made F1 history last week when he equaled Michael Schumacher’s legendary record with a seventh world title. No one has won more driver championships than the pair in the sport.
The 35-year-old had previously toned down the call for a knighthood by saying, “I didn’t save lives, I’m not an unsung hero like NHS staff or Captain Sir Tom Moore.”
But he told the BBC that if he got the credit, it would be the ‘happiest day of his life’ to meet the Queen again.
He said, ‘Like everyone else I grew up worshiping the royal family, if one day I found the honor of standing before the queen again it would be the happiest day ever to see here again, she’s a icon, such an incredible individual. ‘
The Formula 1 champion will receive the gong despite his controversial tax issues.
But the government’s Honors Committee said his affairs were “ all okay ” and he will receive the award in the new year, according to The sun.
Lewis Hamilton is awarded a knighthood on the New Year’s Honor list after winning his seventh world championship this year
The driver, who in the photo received his MBE from the Queen in 2009, will receive the gong despite his controversial tax cases
Hamilton was an avid go-kart as a young boy, sparking his love of racing which has brought him to the top of the sport.
Mercedes’ Hamilton (above) won its first world championship in Formula 1 in 2008
The champion, who has often spoken out on racing issues, is hailed as one of the greatest British athletes ever
The racer, estimated to be worth £ 250 million, is a resident of Monaco tax haven.
A friend said, “This is an honor that has eluded Lewis for so many years. It marks an incredible end to the most beautiful season. ‘
Another said: ‘He pays the right amount of tax – everything that is owed.
“He has been brought forward by industry bosses in recognition of his tremendous contribution to the sport.”
Hamilton previously received an MBE after his first championship title in 2008.
The British driver sealed his seventh world championship with his victory in Turkey
Hamilton made F1 history last week when he equaled Michael Schumacher’s legendary record with a seventh world title
Athletes knighted or made ladies while still competing:
Sir Gordon Richards – Racing, 1953
Sir Stanley Matthews – Football, 1965
Dame Naomi James – Sailing, 1979
Sir Richard Hadlee Cricket 1990
Dame Kelly Holmes – Athletics, 2005
Dame Tanni-Gray Thompson – Athletics, 2005
Dame Ellen MacArthur – Sailing, 2005
Sir Chris Hoy – Cycling, 2009
Sir Nick Faldo – Golf, 2009
Dame Sarah Storey – Bicycles, 2013
Sir Bradley Wiggins – Bicycles, 2013
Sir Ben Ainslie – Sailing, 2013
Dame Laura Davies – Golf, 2014
Sir Andy Murray – Tennis, 2017
Sir Mo Farah – Athletics, 2017
Dame Valerie Adams – Shot put, 2017
S.ir Alastair Cook – Cricket, 2019
The driver’s legal tax regime allowed him to save £ 3.3 million by registering a £ 16.5 million private jet in the Isle of Man.
Sports stars Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Alastair Cook have all been knighted in recent years.
Hamilton’s accolade comes after his vocal support of the Black Lives Matter movement, especially in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
And in an interview with BBC news On Thursday morning, Hamilton shared how his upbringing made him more determined than ever to bring about change – and urged young people not to give up on their dreams.
“For the kids who dream the impossible, don’t give up on that dream because I am living proof that you can make your dreams and even the impossible dreams come true,” he said.
‘I remember as a child; adults, teachers, parents of other drivers who told me I wouldn’t make it. “You’re not going to make it, go back to your country.”
‘All these horrible things and I remember thinking I will prove you wrong.
“The message is for all the kids who feel like they don’t have a voice and maybe dream of something or want to dream big.”
At the age of 35, he still feels the passion to keep fighting for success not just on the track, but beyond as a major campaigner and voice calling for greater racial equality and diversity.
It comes after he recently asked for more time for himself in his new £ 120m Mercedes deal.
The champion has been away from his family even more this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the exhausting demands of competing at the top have led him to demand that more personal days be included in the deal, which is expected to close shortly .
Hamilton is now the most successful driver in Formula One history. He has more race wins than Michael Schumacher (the pair pictured in 2012) and has matched his record for championship wins
Hamilton climbs on top of his Mercedes to greet his team and celebrate becoming world champion for the seventh time
Hamilton is struggling to hold back tears after equaling Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles
He told it BBC: ‘I’m going to spend time with friends and family, create memories, when we start traveling more, it’s about taking my family somewhere and creating memories with them and celebrating with them, just being with them because this year I have not been able to see them.
And when asked if he would have more time for himself to put into his new deal, he responded with a knowing smile.
‘Potentially … that’s always part of the conversation, I need more time, I think this year, for example, showed that you can work from home.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of Zoom days in the contract instead of current days, which means I won’t have to fly as much, which is good.”
IN NUMBERS: HOW LEWIS HAMILTON COMPARES WITH MICHAEL SCHUMACHER
Lewis Hamilton has emulated Michael Schumacher by winning his seventh world championship.
Here’s how two of the most successful drivers in the sport relate to each other.
Fastest laps: 77
Win ratio: 30 percent
Fastest laps: 53
Win ratio: 35 percent
Schumacher won seven championships, two with Benetton in 1994 and 1995 and then an unprecedented five on the spin for Ferrari at the turn of the century.
A controversial driver, he collided with Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve during the 1994 and 1997 championship decision-makers, before being convicted of deliberately parking his Ferrari in Monaco in 2006 to prevent Fernando Alonso from putting down a lap in qualifying .
Little is known about Schumacher’s current medical condition following a skiing accident while vacationing with his family in the French Alps in 2013.
Hamilton was the youngest world champion when he won his first title in 2008 – a record since he was broken by Sebastian Vettel – and 12 years later he is firmly in the elite.
His number of wins, pole positions and podiums is the highest ever and he is poised for a record-breaking eighth championship next season.