“All of us congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition of his achievements and look forward to seeing more of his brilliance in 2021.”
Lewis Hamilton has added another feather to his cap after he was knighted in the UK’s New Year Honours List, officially declared on Wednesday evening.
The honour, which is in recognition of his services to motorsports, comes at the end of a year that saw him match Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 World Championship titles and surpass the German’s race wins tally.
Lewis Hamilton is the fourth F1 driver to be knighted. Others include two fellow Britons, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart, and Australia’s Sir Jack Brabham.
Hamilton, who will now be formally known as Sir Lewis Hamilton, has had an eventful ‘crazy’ 2020 both on and off track.
As F1’s first and only Black world champion in its 70-year history, Hamilton has been a strong contender against racial injustice.
Following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25, Hamilton actively participated in the Black Lives Matter movement and called out everyone, including the rest of the F1 grid, and the sport itself, for remaining silent.
Pushing for equality and diversity, the vegan athlete has now set up the Hamilton Commission to help increase the representation of Black people across all branches of motorsport and acquired a team in the all-electric Extreme E series to highlight global warming.
The Briton has also used his platform to promote a variety of issues in 2020 that involved the environment and animal welfare, including passionately urging his followers to ditch meat and animal leather, and boycott animal exploitation for entertainment.
At the height of the Australian bushfires, he also donated USD 500,000 to “support the animals, wildlife volunteers and rural fire services” affected by the crisis.
‘A year of growth’
And all his hard work has paid off. Earlier this month, Hamilton was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a second time, having previously won the prestigious award in 2014.
He also won the 2020 Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year prize, sharing it with footballer Lionel Messi.
Reflecting on the events of the year, Hamilton said: “This year has been such a year of growth, amongst the difficulty that we’ve been faced with, but I feel like I’ve really found my compass this year.
“And I feel like there’s this huge amount of work to do in so many areas. And this is probably one of the first years I felt like I’ve had something different driving me at the core, pushing for diversity within our industry, using my voice for something far bigger than myself.”
Commenting on Hamilton’s newest feat, former world champion racing driver Damon Hill told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s fantastic the way he calls out to all the young kids. He’s going to ignite a whole army of Hamilton wannabe emulators and he deserves his knighthood.
“He’s always has been an exceptional talent but it’s incredible what he’s achieved this year. It’s not been a good year for most of us on the planet but it’s been a pretty good year for Lewis.”
F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali said: “What he has achieved is phenomenal with still more to come. All of us at Formula 1 congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition of his achievements and look forward to seeing more of his brilliance in 2021.”
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