F1 champ snubbed: Lewis Hamilton fans fuming after another denied knighthood
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Fans have reacted strongly after six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton was overlooked for a knighthood, despite his achievements in the sport.
While Hamilton had already received an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for his first world title, fans were hoping he would receive a higher honour for his achievements in the sport.
Since then Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah, Andy Murray and Alastair Cook have all been knighted for services to sport while still active.
But the bigger push has come after four English cricketers were awarded honours following their World Cup win, with Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jos Buttler all earning MBE's, while coach Trevor Bayliss was named an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) and captain Eoin Morgan was named CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).
But despite dominating Formula One for more than a decade and being one world title away from equalling Michael Schumacher's record seven titles, fans have been perplexed about Hamilton not being awarded higher honours.
Three F1 drivers have been knighted so far – Sir Stirling Moss, who never won a world title, three-time champion Sir Jackie Stewart and three-time Australian champion Sir Jack Brabham.
All three were honoured after they retired but it hasn't stopped fans reacting angrily as Hamilton closes in on several F1 records.
Questions have been raised about whether it's because Hamilton lives in Monaco and is avoiding tax, but the rumour has been debunked as Peter Hain, who sits on the All Party Parliamentary Group for F1, revealed Hamilton is one of the top 5000 taxpayers in the country because of his work with the Mercedes team.
Hain took to Twitter to call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to justify the decision.
Motorsport UK chairman David Richards has also pushed for Hamilton to be granted higher honours after he made his way from council.
The 34-year-old grew up on a council estate and remains the only black driver in F1.
"I can't think of anyone more worthy of that recognition than Lewis," said Richards. "It would be a major oversight if that is not recognised in the New Year honours.
"Lewis is far more remarkable in that he did not come from a privileged background. He and his father worked incredibly hard to get into karting and up the steps of the ladder. It was sheer hard graft, not gifted to him on a plate. They made huge sacrifices and that makes his achievements even more extraordinary.
"He is a role model for underprivileged children in the UK to show them that anything is possible."
In November, football legend Gary Lineker backed Hamilton for a knighthood as well.
The reaction has been swift from the racing world with many fans and pundits weighing in on the snub.
Former F1 World Champion Damon Hill argued by not honouring Hamilton, it missed the six-time world champions contribution to the nation.
As for Hamilton, he said it doesn't concern him too much.
"I don't really like to think too much about it. Just the fact that people have mentioned it, it's already an honour, but it's not been something that I've been chasing in my life," he said during the Brazilian Grand Prix.