Sports

Hamilton knighted by QE-II

London, Dec 31 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 12/31/2020 7:45:41 AM IST

Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton officially became a “Sir” on Wednesday after Queen Elizabeth II knighted him. The honor was bestowed upon him as part of the New Year’s honors list.

Hamilton received his knighthood alongside British performers, politicians, public servants and the unsung heroes who helped to combat the spread of coronavirus, treat it in patients around the country and limit its impact. The 35-year-old driver tied Michael Schumacher’s record for most F1 titles last month with his seventh.

It is believed that were it not for his tax issues, he would have received his knighthood even sooner. In 2017, news broke that he avoided paying over $4 million in taxes on a private jet that was registered to tax haven the Isle of Man. He also lives in the low-tax country of Monaco, thus putting him on the “overseas” section of the honors list. Motorsport U.K. Chairman David Richards has publicly defended the driver’s issues, saying they were “totally misunderstood” as he was one of the 5,000 highest taxpayers in the United Kingdom.

Hamilton attributed his recent success to the Black Lives Matter movement, which inspired him throughout a lot of his competitions. He notably took a knee on the grid, wore anti-racism slogans during the season, and has been in contact with fellow activist-athlete Colin Kaepernick. 

“I had this extra drive in me to get to the end of those races,” he told the BBC, who named him 2020 Sports Personality of the Year, last week. “It was a different drive than what I’ve had in me in the past - to get to the end of those races first so that I could utilize that platform [for Black Lives Matter] and shine the light as bright as possible.”

 

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