Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton will be knighted as part of the New Year’s Honours List, it has been announced.
He is the first driver in the 70-year history of the championship to receive the accolade while still active.
Sir Jack Brabham and Sir Jackie Stewart are the only other World Champions to have been knighted while four-time runner-up Sir Stirling Moss was also honoured.
He is only the fourth person affiliated with Formula 1 to be knighted this century, following on from Moss, Stewart and Williams co-founder Sir Patrick Head, who was recognised in 2015.
Hamilton joins a select group of other contemporary British sporting icons, including Sir Andy Murray and Sir Mo Farah, to have been knighted while still in active competition.
The honours list in Britain is typically distributed twice a year, at New Year and on the occasion of the Sovereign’s birthday, with candidates either nominated by the government or by members of the public.
Hamilton’s honour comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson personally intervened, awarding the title by placing him on the ‘Diplomatic and Overseas List’ because of his decision to have his permanent place of residence in Monaco, owing to tax purposes. However Hamilton is still within the top 5,000 UK taxpayers, despite his Monaco residency.
Hamilton was previously awarded an MBE following his first world title in 2008.
Hamilton this year became Formula 1’s most decorated driver in history after surpassing Michael Schumacher’s record of wins, moving the new benchmark to 95.
He equalled Schumacher’s tally of seven world titles as Mercedes also broke new ground by claiming its seventh successive Constructors’ crown.
Hamilton also won the world title in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Off-track Hamilton was influential in anti-racism and pro-diversity campaigns initiated by Formula 1 and Mercedes, and also co-founded The Hamilton Commission, a partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering to improve the representation of ethnic minorities within motorsport.