Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton could receive a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II, The Times reported over the weekend.
Hamilton, who tied Michael Schumacher’s record of F1 driver’s titles with a win at the Nov. 15 Turkish Grand Prix, is set to be named in the Queen’s new year’s honors list, according to the report. He would be one of a handful of racing drivers to receive the United Kingdom’s highest honor, and would be formally known as Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton, who hails from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, was previously named a “Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” (MBE), a lower honor, after winning his first championship in 2008.
U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson personally recommended Hamilton for a knighthood, according to the report, citing the driver’s racing record and his work to combat racism.
Mercedes-AMG’s Lewis Hamilton at the 2020 Formula One Turkish Grand Prix
The only Black driver in F1, Hamilton has tried to bring attention to protests for racial justice this year, taking a knee before each race, and wearing shirts with the slogans “Black Lives Matter” and “Arrest The Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor” at races. He also set up the Hamilton Commission, aimed at increasing diversity in motorsports.
His record is also unrivaled among current F1 drivers. In addition to matching Schumacher’s seven championships, Hamilton beat the German driver’s record for race wins earlier this season, with 94 to date. Hamilton also holds the records for podium finishes and pole positions.
Two more races remain in the 2020 season—the Bahrain Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix—giving Hamilton more opportunities to add to these tallies.
Hamilton would be the second British F1 champion to receive a knighthood, after three-time champion Jackie Stewart. Stirling Moss also received a knighthood, but never won an F1 championship.