Calls for ‘Sir Lewis’ stall as seven-time world champion Hamilton faces wait over knighthood with Government now reluctant to honour active sportsmen while Andy Murray declines to use title
There has been a clamour for Hamilton to be recognised after his seventh F1 titleMotorsport UK chairman David Richards is leading campaign for a knighthoodBut there has been a change of outlook among those who bestow honours It is partly because Sir Andy Murray generally declines to call himself by his title
Lewis Hamilton faces a possible wait to be handed a knighthood because of a new-found Government reluctance to honour active sportsmen.
Sportsmail understands there has been a change of outlook among those who bestow honours, partly because Sir Andy Murray generally declines to call himself by his title.
Despite this impediment there remains a major campaign led by the highest ranks of motor racing in Britain to earn Hamilton, who claimed his seventh world title in Turkey on Sunday, his knighthood in the next New Year honours.
Highest ranks of motor racing are campaigning for Lewis Hamilton to receive a knighthood
His historic win put him level with Michael Schumacher alone and ahead of the German in terms of race wins and pole positions.
Noting that contemporaries such as Murray, Sir Alastair Cook and Sir Mo Farah have been honoured, the fight for Hamilton’s elevation from an MBE, awarded 12 years ago, to a knighthood is being fronted by the most important figure in British racing — Motorsport UK chairman David Richards.
He wrote to Downing Street last week making the case, in correspondence seen by Sportsmail.
Richards wrote: ‘Throughout Lewis’s journey to the top he has walked a lonely path as the only black driver in F1 and the Black Lives Matter movement has allowed him to speak candidly about his experience. He has used his voice, platform and influence to call for positive change.
‘His story is a remarkable one of sheer application, dedication, sacrifice, supreme skill and determination to enter a sport where the odds were stacked immeasurably against him.
‘Lewis is a global icon. A patriot of exemplary character who never misses an opportunity to drape himself in the Union Jack and to exult in his proud Britishness.
‘Lewis is applauded the world over for his achievements in a Formula One car and it would be entirely right for the UK to recognise his extraordinary achievements by bestowing on him a knighthood, as has been the case for so many other British sportsmen of similar standing.’