Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has been awarded an MBE in the annual Queen's New Year Honours list.
The McLaren Mercedes driver was given the honour for services to motorsport after a season which saw him become the youngest driver in history to secure the F1 title – coming out on top of a dramatic battle with Felipe Massa to lift the crown at just 23-years-old.
Hamilton joined a range of stars from the British Olympic team in receiving an honour, including cyclist Chris Hoy who was given a knighthood.
“It is a massive honour and incredible privilege for me to receive an MBE from Her Majesty The Queen,” Hamilton said. “It is the most amazing culmination to what has been quite a year for me. The support I have received from the UK as a whole has been fantastic and a huge motivation, it is something I am very appreciative of.
“This is not just a proud moment for me, but also for my family and every single person involved with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team. I could not have achieved any of this without them.
“It has been an outstanding year for British sport as a whole, and it is great to see so many fellow sportsmen and women being honoured today.”
Hamilton added that he felt humbled to have been honoured for his achievements and said he was hopeful that he could inspire other youngsters to follow their dreams in the same way he did as an up-and-coming driver working his way to the top.
“I am also very humbled to be included on the Honours list alongside all the members of the general public who have been recognised for their tireless work in such varied and worthwhile arenas,” he said. “I am very fortunate to have been awarded for achieving my dream, it has required a lot of hard work and dedication, however it has been worth every single minute and I only hope that I can inspire young kids to do the same, whatever their dream may be.”