Just days after one of the most controversial endings to an F1 season, the seven time World Champion Lewis Hamilton was knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
Hamilton had been listed in the New Year Honours list after a record-breaking season in 2020 where he knocked off Michael Schumacher from his all-time victory tally and won the title for record-equalling seventh time.
The timing of Hamilton’s award felt almost chilling as he knelt before the Prince less than a week after Max Verstappen took his first ever World Championship title in a race filled with fire, fury and ferocity.
So Why did Hamilton receive a Knighthood?
Hamilton joined the McLaren racing team in 2007 where he partnered the defending world Champion Fernando Alonso.
On his debut, Hamilton finished on the podium and then went on to set several more records before finishing as a runner-up in the 2007 World Drivers’ Championship.
The 36-year-old from Stevenage earned the record for the most consecutive podium finishes from debut (9); the joint most wins in a debut season (4) and the most points in a debut season (104).
It only took the young driver until his second season to win his first World Championship title. In the following seasons, Hamilton finished fourth, fifth and fourth again before suddenly announcing his move to Mercedes.
In his first season with Mercedes, Hamilton once again finished fourth but changes to regulations in 2014 allowed the use of turbo-hybrid engines and opened up the era of motoracing for the team.
Hamilton won 11 of the 19 races that season and clinched his second drivers’ title before dominating the following season and won the title with three races to go.
Hamilton’s teammate, Nico Rosberg, was able to take the 2016 World Championship, after which he immediately announced his retirement.
Between 2017 and 2020, Hamilton has won each World Championship and matched Michael Schumacher’s seven title record.
Hamilton has also been an exceptionally prominent activist within the sport against racism and fighting for increased diversity in motorsport.
Following the murder of George Floyd, Hamilton began to take the knee before every race in the 2020 season and wore t-shirts bearing the Black Lives Matter slogan.
Additionally, Hamilton confronted Bahrain’s human rights abuses and spoke out on the allegations of sportwashing.
The F1 champion said that while he had no authority to choose the location for his race “going to these countries and just ignoring what is happening in those places” is not the right way.
The seven time world Champion is a strong activist for Environmental and animal rights. In 2019, Hamilton asked Mercedes to swap the animal-derived leather in the company’s models worldwide.
“I am trying to push for sustainability with my team. I am trying to get more involved in Formula 1 and be more conscious.”
In 2020, Hamilton announced he had an aim of being carbon neutral by the end of the year: “I don’t allow anyone in my office, but also within my household to buy any plastics. I want everything recyclable, down to deodorant, down to toothbrush, all these kinds of things… I’m trying to make as much change as I can in my personal space.”
What happened in the 202 Formula 1 season?
It was left until the final race of the 2021 season to decide who was going to take this year’s title.
Hamilton was up against Dutch driver Max Verstappen and in a season that was full of twists, turns and tension, it came down to the final lap after Nicholas Latifi crashed and the safety car was brought out.
With only the cars in between Verstappen and Hamilton being allowed to unlap themselves, the pair had one lap to decide who would take the 2021 title.
Verstappen had just changed his tyres back to soft just before the final lap, allowing him a faster pace than Hamilton who was on older, hard tyres.
The 24-year-old went hunting and eventually overtook his competitor and became a World Champion for the first time.
Who are Lewis Hamilton’s Parents?
Hamilton is the son of Anthony Hamilton and Carmen Larbalestier. Larbalestier was present during the ceremony with Hamilton.
Anthony Hamilton’s father is of Grednaian descent and his mother is from Birmingham.
What is Lewis Hamilton’s net worth?
Hamilton is one of the highest-paid F1 drivers in the world and he is estimated to have a net worth of just under £215 million. His yearly salary is around £37 million, £30million of which comes from his Mercedes contract.
Hamilton signed a deal with Mercedes in July which will see him through until 2023. There will be no doubt that the seven time world champion will come back next year even more hungry for that eighth title.
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