Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has been given the coveted knighthood in the New Year’s honours list for his outstanding achievements and contribution to motorsports. This year, Hamilton 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. Hamilton also holds the record for maximum pole positions and podium finishes in F1 history. He is the fourth-youngest sportsperson to be knighted after former tennis world no.1 Andy Murray, who was 29 when he received the honour, and cyclists Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy, who were both 32 years old. Also Read - F1 2020 News: Lewis Hamilton Eyes 'Christmas Gift' With New Mercedes Contract For 2021
Apart from his sporting achievements, the 35-year-old Hamilton continues to make charitable and philanthropic contributions in the UK and overseas supporting a wide range of causes from improving equality within motorsport. He also supports disadvantaged young people, children’s charities and conservation causes. Also Read - Red Bull's Max Verstappen Cruises to Win at Abu Dhabi GP, Lewis Hamilton Finishes Third
“Lewis is one of the very greatest racing drivers of all time and the most successful British sportsperson of his era,” said Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO of the Mercedes F1 Team. Also Read - Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton Recovers From Coronavirus, Set to Race in Abu Dhabi GP
Hamilton is also the fourth F1 driver to receive the honour after Jack Brabham – 1978, Stirling Moss – 2000 – and Jackie Stewart – 2001 – and the sixth from the sport with F1 team Williams co-founders Frank Williams and Patrick Head being knighted in 1999 and 2015 respectively.
Hamilton is, however, the first from the sport to receive the knighthood while still being an active F1 driver.
Hamilton is sport’s only Black driver, who grew up in social housing as the grandson of immigrants from the Caribbean. He used his profile to campaign for diversity and speak out against racial injustice.
The Mercedes driver lives in Monaco and following the Paradise Papers leak in November 2017, it was reported that Hamilton had avoided paying 3.3 million pounds in value added tax on a private jet. Hamilton eventually sold the jet in September 2019.