Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton just finished off a highly-successful 2020 season. He topped Michael Schumacher's record for most wins in F1 history and secured the seventh championship of his career. Now he is reportedly set to receive a knighthood.
According to ESPN, Queen Elizabeth II will knight the championship driver after making a name for himself as the best driver in F1 history. She will reportedly name him in the new year's honours list, officially making him Sir Lewis Hamilton. He previously landed on the list in 2008 after winning his first championship and was named a 'Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire' (MBE).
Britain has had 10 world champions in racing history, but only three-time champion Jackie Stewart has received a knighthood. Similarly, Stirling Moss received a knighthood after a successful racing career. Hamilton will reportedly be the third driver to earn the honor after his most recent championship, a move that would make several racing fans happy considering that they have been pushing for him to receive the honor in recent years.
"I always say it's beyond my wildest dreams, but I think my whole life secretly I probably have dreamt as high as this," Hamilton said about his seventh championship, per ESPN. "But it felt so farfetched. I remember watching Michael winning those championships, and all us drivers here are always doing our best job we can. Just to get one, or two, or even three, it's so hard to get. Seven is just unimaginable."
The Times UK reports that a high-profile figure also pushed for Hamilton to receive the honor from Queen Elizabeth II. Prime Minister Boris Johnson "personally recommended Hamilton" for his driving on the track, as well as his work off of it. The seven-time champion has spent a lot of time speaking out about racism and also spent the entire 2020 season kneeling before each race while wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt. He also sparked comments with a Breonna Taylor shirt.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, who was knighted in 2016, also showed his support for Hamilton receiving the honor. "I'm not necessarily all for sportspeople being given knighthoods for what we do," he told Good Morning Britain. He continued and explained why Hamilton is truly deserving.
"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."