This year, Hamilton won his seventh F1 driver’s championship title, equaling the great Michael Schumacher’s record.
Off the track, the 35-year-old became a powerful voice on the issue of racism and was one of British sport’s leading voices supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Briton is the fourth F1 driver to receive a knighthood after the late Australian Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss and triple champion Jackie Stewart.
Equaling a legend
Having won his first world title in 2008, Hamilton ushered in a period of dominance on the track between 2014 and 2020, winning six further world championships to equal Schumacher’s record.
His 11 victories during 2020 also equaled his personal race win record in a F1 season.
Setting an example
As the sport’s first and only Black world champion in its 70-year history, Hamilton has helped campaign for diversity and spoken out against racial injustice.
He also set up a commission in his name to increase diversity in motorsport shortly after which F1 launched the #WeRaceAsOne initiative, and with it a new Task Force which aims to “increase inclusion in the sport.”
The halos of both cars featured the call to “End Racism,” while Toto Wolff, the team principal, revealed that Mercedes would review its recruitment policy.
Ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Hamilton also criticized the sport’s record on human rights.
“We are probably one of the only ones that goes to so many different countries and I do think as a sport we need to do more.”
Aleks Klosok contributed to this report.