Influential British F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton is expected to be named on the Queen’s Honours list.
Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton will be knighted, according to UK newspaper the Daily Mail.
Calls for Hamilton’s knighthood became louder after the 35-year-old equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 championship titles earlier this month at the Turkish Grand Prix.
“When I think about that honour I think about people like my grandad who served in the war. I’ve not saved any lives. I’m not an unsung hero like NHS staff or Captain Sir Tom Moore,” Hamilton said last week on the possibility of being knighted.
“Like everyone, I’ve grown up adoring the royal family,” he said. “If one day I am honoured to be up in front of the queen again, it would be the happiest day ever to see her again – she’s an icon, such an incredible individual.”
The Mercedes-AMG F1 driver was awarded an Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2009.
Some raised doubts over whether he should be given the honour of a knighthood, due to his efforts to avoid paying tax in the United Kingdom by residing in Monaco and registering his private jet in the Isle of Man.
“What people don’t realise is I pay tax here but don’t earn all my money here. I race in 19 countries, so I earn my money in 20 different places and pay tax in several different places, and I pay a lot here as well.”
It’s understood Mr Hamilton’s finances have been found to be above board by the Government Honours Committee, and British media report he is within the top 5000 of taxpayers within the UK.
“I’m contributing to the country. Not only that, I help keep a team of more than a thousand people employed,” he said.
Earlier this week, Lewis Hamilton was named as the most influential black person in the UK, in part due to his much-publicised work to highlight social equality issues.
In June 2020, he announced The Hamilton Commission, a research project with the Royal Academy of Engineers which aims to identify key barriers for people of colour in pursuing motorsports careers.
It’s expected Mr Hamilton’s knighthood will be officially announced on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
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Lewis Hamilton to be knighted – report