Britain’s three-time Grand Slam champion, Andy Murray, says it is high time Formula 1 champion, Lewis Hamilton, joined him in being rewarded with knighthood following his achievement at the recently concluded Turkish Grand Prix.
If reports are to be believed, Hamilton, who equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of winning seven Grand Slam championships, will be awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours.
“In terms of what he has achieved as an athlete, of course, he deserves it,” Murray told Good Morning Britain.
“He’s one of the most successful sportspeople in the country’s history.”
Murray, 33-year-old, who was awarded his knighthood back in the 2017 New Year Honours, added: “He supports some great causes as well away from the racing track, so yes I would say he definitely deserves it in terms of his success.”
Hamilton who was awarded an MBE in 2009 was quoted recently saying the chance to get rewarded again by the Queen would be his “happiest day ever” in a chat with the BBC’s Sally Nugent.
Britain’s 1996 F1 champion Damon Hill also enthused about Hamilton breaking barriers with his achievements.
“The knighthood will be seen as recognition of not just his driving but also as a black driver that has bust another door open for anyone who is not white,” said the 60-year-old.
“He has destroyed the preconception that it can’t be done, that there is an area where you cannot achieve something because of the colour of your skin. He has totally destroyed that notion.”
Hamilton’s triumph at the Turkish Grand Prix on 15 November sealed the seventh championship for the Englishman, after previous successes in 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Here are some of Hamilton’s remarkable statistics:
- He already holds the record for most pole positions and earlier this season overtook German Michael Schumacher’s total of 91 F1 race wins.
- This is a fourth consecutive title for Hamilton (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020). The record of consecutive F1 championships belongs to Schumacher, who swept all before him in securing five title wins on the bounce between 2000 and 2004.
- It is also Hamilton’s sixth title in seven years. Hamilton’s dominance was interrupted by German Nico Rosberg – his Mercedes team-mate – pipping him to the championship by five points in 2016.
- Hamilton has won a Grand Prix when leading from the first lap to the last on 22 occasions – the most of any driver. Brazilian Ayrton Senna is second having done so 19 times.
- Hamilton is in second place in the list of drivers to have completed the most ‘grand slams’. He has achieved the rare feat of taking pole position, winning the race having led every single lap and claiming the fastest lap in six Grand Prix. British driver Jim Clark, who won two titles in the 1960s, has the most grand slams with eight.