Arise Sir Lewis Hamilton? 'He certainly deserves it,' says Stewart

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There have been renewed calls for Lewis Hamilton to be knighted after claiming a record-equalling seventh Formula 1 title in 2020.

The Mercedes driver matched the mark set by Michael Schumacher in impressive fashion this past Sunday, conquering tough conditions to win the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul.

Hamilton's latest championship is his sixth in seven years, in addition to his 2008 success with McLaren, and Sir Jackie Stewart, who was recognised by the Queen back in 2001, believes the Briton has earned the right to join him.

"I've been privileged to get a knighthood myself and it took me a wee while apparently to get a knighthood in comparison because I was retired from motor racing by the time my knighthood came along," the Scot told Sky Sports.

"But certainly Lewis deserves it. He's now a seriously top-line sportsman in the world and that's a wonderful thing to have, and the fact that he is British is the most important thing of all, with regards to the knighthood is concerned. I think he certainly deserves it."

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Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle agreed, adding: "Lewis appeals to a huge amount of people. He's the only true global star in motor racing and head and shoulders above everybody else.

"He's one of the greatest sportsmen this country has ever produced and we need to start recognising that as a country. He's notably among the peers who have all been knighted and he hasn't been and I question that.

"Seven world championships, more races than anybody else - this guy is better than anyone else in the world. He truly is a fantastic ambassador for Great Britain."

Hamilton currently holds the title of MBE, which he was given back in 2008, but was sent a message by the Royal Family on Twitter after his success on Sunday.


In terms of further recognition, it has been suggested his UK tax status is the main hurdle, but regardless, the man from Stevenage doesn't feel worthy of such an honour. 

“Every year we talk about this and I naturally get the questions and I don’t really have anything different to say, compared to before,” he said.

“I think when I think about that honour, I think about people like my grandad who served in the war, I think about Sir Captain Tom who got knighted and waited 100 years for that incredible honour.

“The people that are running hospitals, the nurses and doctors who are saving lives during the hardest time ever.

“I think about those unsung heroes and I don’t look at myself as an unsung hero. I’ve not saved anybody.

“It is an incredible honour that a small group of people have had bestowed upon them.

“All I can say is that standing today, and hearing the national anthem I’m very, very proud.

“I am a very proud Brit and that, as I said before, this really is like the most special moment to be able to represent… to be up there representing a nation. Having the flag over your head, over number one, that is such an incredible honour. That’s really all I have to say about it."

Instead, Hamilton is more interested in continuing his work in the fight for equality, ironically something else that could make him eligible for an honour in the future.

“It’s not something that I think about, it’s not something that I… I’ve got a lot of work to do. There’s more work to do here in this sport," he continued.

“As I said, we’ve got… I think this year we’ve had this awakening and I think people hopefully are starting to be held accountable and holding themselves accountable and realising that’s actually not a really bad thing.

“It just means we’ve got to work harder, we’ve got to not be so stubborn, open our minds up and educate ourselves a bit better so we can push for a more equal world.

“I’m not going to stop fighting for that and then part-time maybe I’ll keep racing for a little while!”