British Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has been knighted as part of Queen Elizabeth II's New Year Honour's list. The 35-year-old Mercedes F1 Team driver equalled Michael Schumacher's record of seven world championship titles this year.
Hamilton sealed the championship back in November, after also breaking and surpassing the German's record for most number of Grand Prix wins throughout his Formula 1 career. Schumacher had a long-standing record of 91 race victories, but Hamilton smashed that record this year by ending the season at 95 victories.
It took the Briton 12 years to beat Schumacher's record, with his first world championship coming back in 2008 with McLaren. He later won world titles in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Earlier this month, Hamilton renewed his contract with Mercedes for a further 2 years plus an option for a third. The team's sheer dominance this season is a clear indication that Hamilton has a big chance of extending his records.
Hamilton also stated that he would like to further use his status to advocate change. This year, he has been a staunch supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, and has been spearheading the fight for diversity throughout the entire F1 organisation.
Hamilton, who is the first and only Black driver in F1 history, feels that there is a need to open up more opportunities for persons of colour in the motor racing world.
According to the BBC, incoming F1 chief executive officer Stefano Domenicali said: "Lewis is a true giant of our sport and his influence is huge both in and out of a car. What he has achieved is phenomenal, with still more to come. All of us at Formula 1 congratulate him on this well deserved recognition of his achievements and look forward to seeing more of his brilliance in 2021."