Lewis Hamilton says receiving a knighthood would be “very surreal” and an “incredible honour” in the wake of winning a seventh Formula 1 world championship.

Hamilton moved level with Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven world titles at the Turkish Grand Prix and the 35-year-old Briton has been tipped to receive a knighthood in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List as recognition for his sporting achievement.

It has been reported that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has personally recommended Hamilton - who has been a powerful voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and F1’s push for equality, as well as being a long-time supporter of children’s charities and environmental issues - for his work both on and off track.

Three-time tennis Grand Slam winner Sir Andy Murray backed intensifying calls for Hamilton to join him as a sporting knight earlier this week amid growing suggestions he will be recognised with the United Kingdom’s highest honour.

“I would never ever turn down the royal family,” said Hamilton when asked what receiving a knighthood would mean to him and whether he would accept the honour.

“I’ve grown up the UK and I am an avid fan of theirs. It’s very surreal to hear, when you have grown up watching the news like everyone else, and your name is mentioned in parliament, it’s very surreal to hear that with all the things going on in the world they have a moment to mention and acknowledge the work that I have done.

“It’s definitely a surreal experience seeing that, but as far as I am aware there is a lot of talk and I have not really thought about it. But it would be an incredible honour. There is no greater honour than your country recognising you with such an award.”

Hamilton revealed he is currently trying to “catch up” to an overwhelming response of congratulatory messages he received after winning his latest world title in Turkey, and admitted the feat still has not sunk in.

“Generally I’ve just switched off,” he explained. “It’s been really bad in the sense that I’ve got a lot of messages and I’m trying to catch up now. I’m super grateful for all the messages I’ve got but people are probably wondering why I’ve not got back to them just yet.

“I didn’t get to read, but I heard that in the media there were lots of positive reports back home in the UK, but I just focus on trying to be present and enjoy the period of time. It was differently very different compared to other years when you have been successful because you can be around people, but nonetheless I am still grateful.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, probably because we are still racing and we are keeping one eye on the job.”

 

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