Lewis Hamilton has collected his MBE from Her Majesty The Queen in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
The McLaren Mercedes driver was awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours list back in December after securing the 2008 Formula One championship crown, and attended the ceremony along with more than 100 others who were also honoured to pick up his award.
''To go to the Palace today and meet Her Majesty The Queen was an incredible experience, following what has been an intense, exciting and unbelievable twelve months of my life,” he said. “I'm so proud of the reception I have received from everybody in the United Kingdom. People's enthusiasm and support - even during the tough times - really kept me going and helped me through an extremely demanding year.
“To be recognised alongside the people who make an outstanding and selfless contribution to society, is truly humbling and I'd like to thank Her Majesty The Queen, her Government and the British public for bestowing this honour on me. I'd also like to thank my family for sharing my dream and helping to make it a reality.
“Last but not least, I'd also like to thank my team - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes - for taking a chance on me when I was 13 years old. I still can't believe I'm in Formula 1 and that I'm now a World Champion - it's incredible.”