Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has been bestowed with knighthood at Windsor Castle this past Wednesday, ESPN reports.
Knighted by Prince Charles of Wales, Hamilton became the fourth F1 driver to receive the honor following Sir Jackie Stewart in 2001, Sir Stirling Moss in 2000, and Sir Jack Brabham in 1979. In December, Hamilton was also named in the Queen's Honours List after he tied Michael Schumacher's all-time record of seven championships last year.
Traditionally, knighthood is an award and title given by a British king or queen for high achievement and services to their country within their industry. The honor comes after Hamilton fell short of a record-breaking title on Sunday. He lost amid a cloud of controversy to Max Verstappen on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton’s knighthood is just the latest national honor that his country has granted him with. In 2009, he was awarded the MBE—a Member of the Order of the British Empire—the third-highest award given to a person who performs with excellence in their field after he won his first championship.
As a philanthropist, Hamilton launched his foundation called Mission 44 which aims “to empower young people from under-represented groups in the UK and support organizations in narrowing gaps in education and employment,” pledging £20 million to the cause. Seeking to provide access for more Black drivers, he also launched the Hamilton Commission and has issued several recommendations to increase diversity in the sport.
Sir Lewis Hamilton holds the distinction of being the first Black driver in the history of Formula One, which had its inaugural season in 1950. To date, Hamilton has won more races and scored more pole positions than any other driver in the history of F1 racing.