Lewis Hamilton feels that “unsung heroes” are more worthy of a knighthood than he is, despite his record-equalling seventh Formula 1 world championship title.

Hamilton became the joint-most successful F1 driver of all time by winning last weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix as he clinched a seventh world title to move level with Michael Schumacher’s benchmark for most drivers world championship successes.

His achievements have led a group of MPs and Motorsport UK to call on prime minister Boris Johnson to recommend Hamilton for a knighthood to recognise his success.

The British royal family’s official Twitter account, as well as the prime minister’s, were among those to post congratulatory messages to Hamilton following his latest title triumph in Turkey.

But Hamilton does not consider himself as worthy of a knighthood as other people who he believes have contributed to society in greater ways.

"When I think about that honour, I think about people like my granddad who served in the war,” Hamilton replied when asked about the prospect of being included in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

"I think about Sir Captain Tom who got knighted and waited a hundred years for that incredible honour.

"The people that are running hospitals. The nurses and doctors who are saving lives during the hardest time ever, I think about those unsung heroes and I don't look at myself as an unsung hero.

"I've not saved anybody. It is an incredible honour that a small group of people have had bestowed upon them.

"All I can say is that standing [on the podium], and hearing the national anthem I'm very, very proud. I am a very proud Brit and that, as I said before, this really is like the most special moment to be able to represent... to be up there representing a nation.”

According to the BBC, Motorsport UK chairman David Richards wrote to the prime minister on 11 November, saying: "For many years, Britain has led the world in F1 engineering and we've produced many great drivers.

"But we can now celebrate the greatest of them all and there can be no more fitting way to do this than award Lewis Hamilton a knighthood."

Hamilton has faced scrutiny in the past regarding his tax arrangements and for living in Monaco, which is considered a tax haven because of its tax laws and policies.

Richards moved to defend Hamilton’s tax status, writing that the 35-year-old Briton is “is subject to withholding tax at source in nine countries around the world and files tax returns in four of the nine countries”, added that he is "within the top 5,000 highest UK income tax payers” according to HM Revenue and Customs’ 2019 figures.

He concluded: "It would therefore be totally wrong for the UK to deny Lewis an award befitting his historic achievements because of where he chooses to live or work or because his tax status has been misunderstood."

 

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