Lewis Hamilton will be knighted in the New Year’s Honors List as a result of his sporting achievements as well as his work off the track.
There were doubts over whether the vegan athlete would be knighted, as he lives in tax haven Monaco. But according to reports, prime minister Boris Johnson got involved to ensure the driver would become Sir Lewis.
As a result, rather than being named on the domestic list, the driver will be recognized on the diplomatic and overseas list, in a bid to swerve controversy over his taz status.
Hamilton has had a remarkable year, matching Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Formula One titles.
In addition to his sporting achievements, he has spoken out on racism, taking part in advocacy. In addition, in September, Hamilton set up a commission to examine the lack of diversity in motor racing.
‘A crazy year’
Earlier this week, before the knighthood was confirmed, Hamilton discussed what a ‘crazy year’ he has had on Instagram, listing some of the things he’d done. These include protesting for Black Lives Matter and feeding baby kangaroos displaced by the Australian bush fires.
He shared photos of some of these moments on Instagram. He captioned the post: “A look back on what has been a crazy year… What’s been your favorite moment from 2020? Let’s take a moment to focus on the positives.”
‘Lewis Hamilton’s influence’
Stefano Domenicali, CEO of F1, congratulated Hamilton on his achievement, saying: “His influence is huge both in and out of a car.
“What he has achieved is phenomenal with still more to come. All of us at Formula 1 congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition of his achievements and look forward to seeing more of his brilliance in 2021.”
‘He deserves his knighthood’
Former world champion racing driver Damon Hill told the BBC: “It’s fantastic the way he calls out to all the young kids. He’s going to ignite a whole army of Hamilton wannabe emulators and he deserves his knighthood.
“He’s always has been an exceptional talent but it’s incredible what he’s achieved this year. It’s not been a good year for most of us on the planet but it’s been a pretty good year for Lewis.”
Lewis Hamilton is the fourth F1 driver to be knighted. Others include Brits Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart, and Australian driver Sir Jack Brabham.