Lewis Hamilton’s incredible year has been capped by a knighthood for services to motorsport.
The 35-year-old equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Formula One world titles this year as he continues to dominate the sport, and his achievements have been recognised in the New Year Honours list.
Hamilton has not resided permanently in the UK since 2007, and his knighthood was included on the Diplomatic and Overseas List.
He initially moved to Switzerland and then on to Monaco, both considered tax havens, though he has defended the amount of tax he pays in the UK.
"I want to say thank you to everyone who voted for me."@LewisHamilton took home the Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday night.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 21, 2020
In an interview with the Sunday Times in 2017, he said: “What people don’t realise is that I pay tax here, but I don’t earn all my money here.
“I race in 19 different countries, so I earn my money in 20 different places and I pay tax in several different places, and I pay a lot here as well.
“I am contributing to the country and, not only that, I help keep a team of more than 1000 people employed. I am part of a much bigger picture.”
Lewis Hamilton has officially been added to the New Years Honours list and will be knighted!
Arise Sir Lewis Hamilton 🗡
— The F1 Debate Show (@f1_ds16) December 30, 2020
Hamilton built his reputation as a prodigious junior karter, and made his F1 debut in 2007 with McLaren.
His maiden title was won with that team too in 2008 but Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull then took centre stage, before a move to Mercedes for the 2013 season changed everything.
He won the world championship in 2014 and 2015, lost out to Nico Rosberg in 2016 but has dominated since, with 2020 his fourth title in a row.
The magnificent seven was completed in Turkey in November, and he won 11 races in the 2020 season in all.
He surpassed Schumacher’s record of 91 race wins with his triumph in Portugal in October.
— Formula 1 (@F1) December 24, 2020
Hamilton has used his winning platform to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, with protests spreading around the world following the death of black man George Floyd in police custody in the United States in May.
A contract for next year is still to be signed, but 2021 could be the year Hamilton overtakes Schumacher to be the most decorated driver in the history of the sport.