Opinion: Why Hamilton deserves his Knighthood
Formula One superstar Lewis Hamilton is set to be awarded a Knighthood in the New Year's honours list, however, some critics have questioned whether it is deserved.
In our latest blog, our Communications Manager - Jamie - writes about why the critics should be silenced and how Hamilton’s record speaks for itself.
It goes without saying that Lewis is the best Formula 1 to have ever graced the track. His success on the global stage has been clear to see with an all-time record-equalling seventh world championship title this year. And throughout every race, the boy with humble Stevenage roots has done so with British-built kit.
His success at the top level could be seen as cause enough for the Honour, but it’s not just results on the tarmac acting as the driving force behind the Knighthood. Lewis has also, possibly single-handedly, brought diversity into a sport which badly needed it.
He has undergone inclusion training on several occasions and has been one of the sport’s most vocal voices in tackling racism by launching his own commission that gives opportunities to people from under-represented backgrounds. He also takes a knee before every race alongside raising his fist in a ‘Black Power’ salute to send a message that the sport is against racism.
Outside of the sporting world, Lewis has been a huge contributor to the awareness of green lifestyle choices, including veganism and eco-awareness. He even transitioned his dog, Roscoe, onto a vegan diet which he claims has cured its breathing issues, overheating and reluctance to run.
Critics will often refer to Hamilton’s tax evasion, including accusations of dodging a £3.2 million tax bill when purchasing a private jet in 2019, however many will overlook how the Mercedes driver ranks in the top 5,000 contributors in the UK. That's a huge amount of money put back into the British economy.
As with any high-profile Knighthood, there will always be moaners, but what about those who were received Honours with less success? Sir Stirling Moss is a great example of this; a former F1 star who was Knighted without ever winning a Formula 1 title at a time when Grand Prix racing was far less widely recognised by the public. To put it simply, I’ve seen many people awarded for less.
In Lewis’ own words: “I've not saved any lives and I'm not an unsung hero like NHS staff or Captain Sir Tom Moore.” However, despite this, I personally feel that Hamilton has used his fame as a catalyst for positive change in society and fully deserves this honour.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on Lewis' and other's Knighthood. Drop us a message on social @nifty and let's start a discussion.