Andy Murray has backed calls for Lewis Hamilton to join him as a knight of the realm amid reports the seven-time F1 world champion will receive a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list.
According to The Times, UK prime minister Boris Johnson has personally recommended Hamilton should become Sir Lewis after the Briton equalled Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven world titles.
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, was named in the New Years Honours four years ago, and went on to receive his knighthood from Prince Charles in May 2019 at Buckingham Palace.
In light of Hamilton’s recent F1 triumph, the Mercedes driver deserves to be honoured as well according Murray, although the two-time Wimbledon winner did admit to having reservations about sportspeople receiving knighthoods.
"I'm not necessarily all for sports people being given knighthoods for what we do," Murray told Good Morning Britain.
"But in terms of what he's achieved as an athlete, of course he deserves it as an athlete.
He's one of the most successful sports people in the history of the country. He is an amazing driver. He supports some great causes as well away from the racing track. So I would say of course he deserves it.
Hamilton was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) back in 2009.
That MBE came after his first F1 title in 2008, and he has since become one of the greatest drivers in the sport’s history.
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A stellar 2020 campaign saw Hamilton, as well as equalling Schumacher’s record, overtake the German for the most F1 race wins – now 94 to Schumacher’s 91.
Hamilton has his eyes firmly on title No 8 in 2021, having said he is “only getting started” after winning the GP in Turkey earlier this month.
“There is just no end to what we can do together, me and this team,” he said.
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“I feel like I’m only just getting started, it’s really weird. I feel physically in great shape and mentally.
“This year has been the hardest year probably for millions of people and I know things always look great here and on the big stage but it’s no different for us athletes. I am really hopeful for a better year next year and I would love to stay.”
Hamilton sees diverse future for F1
Hamilton says he is confident his sport has a bright and more diverse future but he will not take his foot off the accelerator in pushing for change.
"This year there has been this awakening," said the 35-year-old.
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"Already it has sparked a change but it’s really important that it’s not just symbolism, it’s important that it’s not just words... that we take real action to make change, to make this a more diverse sport."
Hamilton, who made his F1 debut in 2007, recalled looking around the Australian Grand Prix paddock in Melbourne at the start of last year and posting images on Instagram of the startling lack of diversity he saw.
"And then I got to the end of the year and I saw all the photos of all the teams... and there were three or four people of colour within that setting and I remember thinking: ‘How has that not changed at all since I’ve been here?’"