Lewis Hamilton says receiving a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II would be “the greatest honor” after clinching his fourth Formula 1 world championship in Mexico last weekend.
Hamilton became just the fifth driver in F1 history to win a fourth world championship after finishing ninth in the Mexican Grand Prix for Mercedes, wrapping up the title with two races remaining this season.
The success has led to much debate about where Hamilton stands among Britain’s sporting greats, with bookmakers offering short odds on him receiving a knighthood and becoming Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton currently holds an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) which he received after winning his first world title back in 2008.
“That would be the greatest honor, firstly to be invited back. I try to represent England in the best way I can,” Hamilton said when asked about a possible knighthood, as quoted by Reuters.
“If that at some stage is recognized by the Queen, then I’d be incredibly honored.”
Hamilton joked he would insist on making his friends call him ‘Sir’ were he to receive the honor.
“I would enforce it – to friends, to everyone. I think it’s such an honor,” Hamilton said in jest.
“I’ve got friends who are Sirs and I call them Sir. When I get a text, I‘m like ‘Yes Sir.’
“It’s unique and why not live it in all its beauty?”
A number of British sporting figures have been knighted by the Queen in recognition of their success in recent years, with the honor being bestowed on tennis player Andy Murray, Olympic athlete Mo Farah and cycling’s Bradley Wiggins.
From F1, three-time world champion Jackie Stewart, 1950s icon Stirling Moss, plus Williams team co-founders Frank Williams and Patrick Head have all been knighted in the past, with Head receiving his honor in 2015.