Three-time Grand Slam tennis winner Andy Murray believes Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton deserves to join him as a British sporting knight.
Reports have suggested that Hamilton, who won a record-equalling seventh title last week, will be awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours.
“In terms of what he has achieved as an athlete, of course he deserves it,” Murray, 33, told Good Morning Britain.
“He’s one of the most successful sportspeople in the country’s history.”
Murray, given his knighthood in the New Year Honours in 2017, added: “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.”
Hamilton, 35, who was made an MBE in 2009, recently told the BBC’s Sally Nugent that it would be his “happiest day ever” if he got the chance to be honoured by the Queen again.
Last week, 1996 British F1 champion Damon Hill said that Hamilton had broken down barriers with his achievements.
“The knighthood will be seen as recognition of not just his driving but also as a black driver that has bust another door open for anyone who is not white,” said the 60-year-old.
“He has destroyed the preconception that it can’t be done, that there is an area where you cannot achieve something because of the colour of your skin. He has totally destroyed that notion.”
Hamilton’s remarkable statistics
The Englishman’s win at the Turkish Grand Prix on 15 November secured his seventh championship after previous successes in 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
He already holds the record for most pole positions and earlier this season overtook German Michael Schumacher’s total of 91 F1 race wins.
- This is a fourth consecutive title for Hamilton (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020). The record of consecutive F1 championships belongs to Schumacher, who swept all before him in securing five title wins on the bounce between 2000 and 2004.
- It is also Hamilton’s sixth title in seven years. Hamilton’s dominance was interrupted by German Nico Rosberg – his Mercedes team-mate – pipping him to the championship by five points in 2016.
- Hamilton has won a grand prix when leading from the first lap to the last on 22 occasions – the most of any driver. Brazilian Ayrton Senna is second having done so 19 times.
- Hamilton is in second place in the list of drivers to have completed the most ‘grand slams’. He has achieved the rare feat of taking pole position, winning the race having led every single lap and claiming the fastest lap in six grands prix. British driver Jim Clark, who won two titles in the 1960s, has the most grand slams with eight.