Lewis Hamilton receives knighthood days after losing F1 title

Sir Lewis Hamilton
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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.”

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.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.