BRITAIN’S seven-times Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton received a knighthood for services to motorsport on Wednesday, days after losing out on what would have been a record eighth title in the last lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton holds the record for most race wins with 103, and is tied with Germany’s Michael Schumacher on seven drivers’ championships.
The 36-year-old Briton, the sport’s only Black driver, was made a Knight Bachelor by Prince Charles in a ceremony at Windsor Castle, outside London.
Hamilton is the fourth Formula One driver to receive the honorary title of “Sir” in Britain after the Australian Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart, and the only one to have received the award while still racing.
Other sports stars who have been knighted while still active include former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, former Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres track gold medallist Mo Farah, twice Wimbledon tennis champion Andy Murray and former England cricket captain Alastair Cook.
Hamilton has championed the Black Lives Matter cause, and this year wore a rainbow-coloured Progress Pride helmet at the last three races in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi to show his support to the LGBTQ+ community.
“Congratulations to 7x F1 World Champion and equality advocate Lewis Hamilton on receiving knighthood today,” American tennis great Billie Jean King tweeted.
“Lewis Hamilton continuously uses his platform to advocate for social change, and is so deserving of this honor.”