Lewis Hamilton will be awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s Honour list after winning his seventh world championship this year.
The Formula One champion, 35, will receive the gong despite his controversial tax affairs.
Lewis Hamilton will be awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s Honour list after winning his seventh world championship this year
Hamilton made F1 history last week when he equalled the legendary Michael Schumacher’s record with a seventh world-title win. Nobody has won more driver championships than the pair in the sport.
Hamilton himself has previously played down the calls for a knighthood, saying: ‘I’ve not saved any lives, I’m not an unsung hero like NHS staff or Captain Sir Tom Moore.’
But he told the BBC that if the honour was to be bestowed on him, it would be the happiest day of his life to meet the Queen again.
He said: ‘Like everyone, I’ve grown up adoring the royal family, if one day I am honoured to be up in front of the queen again, it would be the happiest day ever to see here again, she’s an icon, such an incredible individual.’
The driver, pictured receiving his MBE from the Queen in 2009, will receive the gong despite his controversial tax affairs
The champion, who has often spoken out on issues of race, has been lauded as one of Britain’s greatest ever sportsman
The racer, estimated to be worth £250million, is a resident in tax haven Monaco.
A friend said: ‘This is an honour that has eluded Lewis for so many years. It marks an incredible end to the most wonderful season.’
Another said: ‘He is paying the right amount of tax — all that is due.
‘He has been put forward by industry bosses in recognition of his enormous contribution to the sport.’
The driver’s tax arrangements, which were legal, allowed him to save £3.3million by registering a £16.5million private jet on the Isle of Man.
Hamilton’s accolade comes after his vocal support of the Black Lives Matter movement, especially in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
The British driver sealed his seventh world championship with his victory in Turkey
Hamilton made F1 history last week when he equalled the legendary Michael Schumacher’s record with a seventh world-title win
And in an interview with BBC News on Thursday morning, Hamilton opened up about how his upbringing made him more determined than ever to spark change – urging youngsters not give up on their dreams.
‘For the kids out there who dream the impossible, do not give up on that dream because I am living proof that you can manifest your dreams and even the impossible ones,’ he said.
‘I remember as a kid; adults, teachers, parents of other drivers telling me that I would not make it. “You’re not going to make it, go back to your country.”
‘All these horrible things and I remember thinking I’m going to prove you wrong.
‘The message is for all the kids out there who feel they don’t have a voice and might be dreaming of something or want to dream big.’