It’s customary for sports stars to be honoured too, and with Lewis Hamilton having won his sixth Formula One World Championship in October – putting him second only to Michael Schumacher’s record of seven wins – there are plenty of fans who think he should be rewarded with a Knighthood.
So with all those championship titles under his belt, is Hamilton being granted a Knighthood?
Is Lewis Hamilton getting a Knighthood this year?
Hamilton, 34, has not been included on the 2020 New Year Honours list, which means he is not being awarded a Knighthood this year.
There have previously been calls for Hamilton – who picked up an MBE in 2009 – to be singled out for this high honour, with the head of Motorsport UK, David Richards, quoted in the Guardian earlier this year as saying: ‘I can’t think of anyone more worthy of that recognition than Lewis.
‘It would be a major oversight if that is not recognised in the new year honours.’
Hamilton’s fans haven’t been left best pleased by his omission from this year’s list, with many taking to Twitter to air their grievances.
One wrote: ‘How is it that Lewis Hamilton this year became a 6 time world champion in the highest, most elite level of motorsport becoming the greatest British racing driver of all time and still missed out on making the #NewYearsHonoursList … Tragic!’
While another said: ‘What more does Lewis Hamilton have to do to receive a Knighthood? Totally unbelievable that other UK sports people have been mentioned in new years honours and not a 6 x World Champion’.
What more does Lewis Hamilton have to do to receive a Knighthood? Totally unbelievable that other UK sports people have been mentioned in new years honours and not a 6 x World Champion #NewYearsHonoursList #NewYearHonours #Hamilton @LewisHamilton
— vonnie fazza 🎄🥳🎅🎁 (@vonnie0101) December 28, 2019
In November, Gary Lineker too voiced his support for Hamilton to be granted a Knighthood, tweeting: ‘It’s actually extraordinary that he’s not already been knighted, especially when you consider some of those who have been honoured in sport.’
‘@LewisHamilton is arguably our greatest ever sportsperson.’
It’s actually extraordinary that he’s not already been knighted, especially when you consider some of those who have been honoured in sport. @LewisHamilton is arguably our greatest ever sportsperson. https://t.co/oGrkOD8HBa
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 5, 2019
Three F1 drivers have been made Sirs so far – Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart and Jack Brabham.
All these men were honoured with this title years after they retired, so there’s a chance Hamilton could follow that precedent and be given a Knighthood after his career has come to a close.
Some have also pointed out that he currently lives in Monaco, which is known to be a tax-haven.
However, Lord Hain, who sits on the All Party Parliamentary Group for F1, has highlighted that the driver is one of the top 5,000 tax-payers in the country because of his work with the Mercedes team.
In 2014, Hamilton told The Sunday Times’ Style magazine: ‘People moan and say, “He doesn’t live in the country, but he’s happy to raise the flag”. It doesn’t matter what country you live in. I was born here, man.
‘What people don’t realise is that I pay tax here, but I don’t earn all my money here. I race in 19 different countries, so I earn my money in 20 different places and I pay tax in several different places, and I pay a lot here as well.’
He added: ‘I am contributing to the country and, not only that, I help to keep a team of more than 1,000 people employed.’