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Lewis Hamilton on ‘heart-warming’ 2020 support and knighthood reports


Lewis Hamilton: “I really am so grateful for the love and support that I’ve received, particularly from the UK. That for me has felt really heart-warming”; Hamilton competes as a seven-time world champion for first time at Bahrain GP this weekend

Last Updated: 26/11/20 7:02pm

Lewis Hamilton says he has been touched by the support he has received from the UK as he reflected on a 2020 in which he has combined record-breaking F1 achievement with “a year of being outspoken”.

Hamilton competes as a seven-time F1 champion for the first time in this weekend’s Bahrain GP after securing his historic record-equalling title a fortnight ago in Turkey.

Alongside his sporting success has been the Briton’s activism and leading role in fighting for equality as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Hamilton first spoke out in May by challenging both the F1 and wider community to say more following the death of George Floyd in America.

Hamilton was last week named the most influential black person in the UK and on Thursday was awarded GQ magazine’s Game Changer Of The Year title.

And speaking in Bahrain to Sky Sports, Hamilton said: “In a year that’s been such a challenge and such a difficult year in so many ways – and there have been so many difficult moments in the year for everyone – trying every day to see the positives that we can take into the future, into 2021, and trying to look at it as a glass-half full.

“I remember back earlier in the year when I had posted ‘I see you out there’, I had no idea what the response was going to be but that was what was on my heart.

“So it’s been a year of being outspoken… I wasn’t really bothered whether it was going to fly or not because that was just me being open, but it’s been amazing to see the response.

“There has been some ground-breaking steps and I think we’ve just got to make sure we continue with it.

“I really am so grateful for the love and support that I’ve received, particularly from the UK. That for me has felt really heart-warming.”

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Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas talk to the media ahead of the Bahrain GP.

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas talk to the media ahead of the Bahrain GP.

Hamilton on ‘surreal’ knighthood discussions

Hamilton’s achievement in becoming the most successful F1 driver of all time has heightened calls for the 35-year-old, currently an MBE, to be knighted in the New Year Honours List.

Following reports over the weekend that Hamilton had been personally recommended for a knighthood by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Mercedes driver said: “Firstly, I would never, ever turn down the Royal Family.

“I’ve grown up in the UK and am an avid fan of them. I’ve grown up watching the news like everyone else, and then your name is mentioned in the House of Commons or in Parliament, it’s very, very surreal to hear that with all the things that are going on in the world they have a moment to mention and acknowledge the work that I’ve done.

“So it’s definitely a surreal experience seeing that. But as far as I’m aware, there’s a lot of talk and so not really thought a lot about it.

“But it would be an incredible honour. There is no greater honour I think than your country recognising you and honouring you with such an award.”

More to follow…





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