According to the United Kingdom’s international list of this honor for the New Year, Lewis Hamilton received the title of Knight of the Order of the British Empire and would be called “Sir”. The information was released by the official Formula 1 website and several media outlets in the United Kingdom.
With respect, Hamilton becomes one of the few British with the actual title in the category. In addition to them, names such as Jackie Stewart, Sterling Moss, Frank Williams and Patrick Head also earned titles. Australian Jack Brabham also received, as the country is part of the nations of the British Commonwealth.
Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 executive director and former Ferrari team chief, said, “Lewis is the true legend of our sport and his influence is both inside and outside the car.”
He said, “What he has achieved is unprecedented. In the coming years, we all congratulate him for this worthy recognition of his achievements in Formula 1, and we look forward to seeing him shine in 2021.”
Hamilton is included in the list of personalities to be honored by the British royal family. The relationship also includes names such as Jimmy Greaves, Ron Flowers (former player of the English football team) and Annie Kethawong (former tennis player, current captain of the British team in the Billie Jean King Cup).
According to The Guardian, the possibility of giving Hamilton a great title was disputed, as he currently lives in Monaco. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson personally influenced the debate to guarantee the British Mercedes driver the honor.
The presence of Monaco residents on the international list was seen as a reflection of their financial status, rather than the main list, with many awarded for public health services in an epidemic.
Hamilton’s supporters have long felt that his achievements have not received enough recognition in his country and expressed satisfaction with the Mercedes driver joining a select group of “ends” of the game.
A Formula 1 driver since 2007, when he made his debut for McLaren, Hamilton has seven world titles in the category (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2018 and 2020). In addition, he finished the season with 95 career wins, surpassing Michael Schumacher’s record (91).
The only black racer in the sport, Hamilton has also used his image to campaign for diversity and speak out against racial injustice.
* With information from Reuters