LONDON: Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has been knighted, having been included in the United Kingdom's traditional honours list. Hamilton this year equalled Michael Schumacher's record for most driver's championship wins and surpassed the German great for most career race wins in F1.
Hamilton at the age of 35 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.
He 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 the only black driver in the sport and has been outspoken in his support for the Black Lives Matter movement. He has also called for more diversity in F1 and for the sport to be more accessible to drivers from financially poor families.
His tax arrangements, however, have been a source of criticism. 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.