“As a sportsperson he’s one of the most successful sportspeople in the history of the country. He’s an amazing driver,” says Sir Andy, who was knighted in 2016; Calls have grown for Hamilton knighthood since record-equalling seventh world title
Last Updated: 24/11/20 11:34am
Sir Andy Murray has backed calls for Lewis Hamilton to join him as a sporting knight in the wake of winning a seventh Formula 1 world championship.
Hamilton is being strongly tipped to receive a knighthood in the New Year Honours List after becoming F1’s most successful driver of all time this year, breaking the record for the most race wins and matching Michael Schumacher as a seven-time champion.
Murray, the three-time tennis Grand Slam winner who was knighted in 2016, believes Hamilton deserves the honour.
“I’m not necessarily all for sportspeople being given knighthoods for what we do,” Murray, who was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours four years ago for services to tennis and charity, told Good Morning Britain.
“But in terms of what he has achieved as an athlete, of course he deserves it.
“As a sportsperson, he’s one of the most successful sportspeople in the history of the country. He’s an amazing driver.
“He supports some great causes as well away from the racing track, so yes I would say he definitely deserves it in terms of his success.”
It is understood that Motorsport UK chairman David Richards and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Formula One have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for Hamilton to be given the honour.
Hamilton has combined his record-breaking sporting achievement in F1 this year with being a powerful voice in the Black Lives Matter movement, while the Mercedes driver is also a long-time supporter of children’s charities and environmental issues.
Speaking to Sky Sports News last week, Richards said of Hamilton: “Sure he’ll be remembered as a great Formula 1 driver but I think he’s going on to create a legacy for himself that’s far bigger than that, in society generally.
“That for me is a sign of a champion. Someone who uses the platform for sport to promote other things that are far more important than just winning on a Sunday.”
A number of leading figures inside and out of motorsport have called for Hamilton to be knighted.
Sir Jackie Stewart, Britain’s most successful F1 driver before Hamilton who received his knighthood in 2001, 28 years after he retired from the sport, told Sky Sports that “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.”