WINDSOR, England — Lewis Hamilton picked up a new title only days after losing one on the track: It’s “Sir” Lewis now.
The seven-time Formula One champion received a knighthood Wednesday at Windsor Castle but declined to speak to the media afterward.
In a controversial finish on Sunday, Max Verstappen won his first world championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a pass of Hamilton on the final lap of a riveting season. It denied Hamilton a record-breaking eighth title.
Hamilton gets the honorary title of “Sir” after being knighted by the Prince of Wales for services to motorsports.
The 36-year-old Briton was joined by his mother, Carmen Lockhart. When congratulated on his award, Hamilton said: “Thank you.”
— Sir Lewis Hamilton Updates (@SirLewisUpdates) December 15, 2021
Three other F1 drivers have been knighted: Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart. Hamilton is the first to be awarded while still competing in the sport.
The Mercedes driver had been seeking his fifth consecutive title and eighth overall to move one ahead of Michael Schumacher. The deployment of the safety car after a late crash at the Yas Marina Circuit wiped out the lead Hamilton had built over his Red Bull rival, and Verstappen had the late advantage because he was using fresher tires.
Mercedes filed protests immediately after the finish that were denied by the FIA. Hamilton’s team has said there are plans to appeal to the International Court of Appeal.
In a statement Wednesday, the FIA said “a detailed analysis and clarification exercise for the future with all relevant parties will now take place” about the Abu Dhabi finale after a report of what happened in the closing laps was delivered to the World Motorsports Council. The statement said the F1 championship was being tarnished by the reactions of drivers, fans and teams.
🏎️ Arise Sir @LewisHamilton!
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 15, 2021