• Sunday, Jul 03, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Hamilton plays down knighthood talk

  • Published at 07:26 pm November 16th, 2020
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Turkish Grand Prix last month AFP

Tennis player Murray, runner Farah, cyclist Wiggins and cricketer Cook are all Sirs but Hamilton’s sole recognition so far is an MBE - awarded to hundreds of people a year

Lewis Hamilton’s record-equalling seventh Formula One world championship has fuelled expectations of a knighthood but the Briton, overlooked in the past, pointed instead to the ranks of “unsung heroes”.

The most successful grand prix racer of all time, and the only black driver, has been regularly tipped in recent years to join Britain’s other sporting knights only to be just as frequently ignored.

Tennis player Andy Murray, runner Mo Farah, cyclist Bradley Wiggins and cricketer Alastair Cook are all Sirs but Hamilton’s sole recognition so far is an MBE - awarded to hundreds of people a year - in 2008.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff suggested last year that his 35-year old driver, who comes from an under-privileged multi-racial background, remains under-appreciated at home if not overseas.

Hamilton’s Monaco residency, and his tax arrangements, are frequently cited as factors in social media debate as is a lingering perception of Formula One as privileged and polluting.

The Briton matched Michael Schumacher's haul of drivers' crowns with three races of the season remaining

Posted by Sports Tribune on Sunday, 15 November 2020

Hamilton, winner of a record 94 races, said after winning Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix to clinch the title that he thought more of others.

While there will always be those who argue Formula One is all about the car, Hamilton won Sunday’s race by more than half a minute in slippery conditions and lapped his own team mate Valtteri Bottas. 

He had started sixth.

Hamilton said flying the flag for Britain was an “incredible honor” but he is also increasingly using his platform to campaign for racial equality, diversity and sustainability.

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