Lewis Hamilton will be knighted on Wednesday – just days after controversially losing out on a record eighth Formula One world title.
The 36-year-old racing star is due to attend an investiture at Windsor Castle to be honoured for services to motorsports.
Max Verstappen claimed an extraordinary and highly-controversial maiden Formula One world title on Sunday after his battle with Hamilton came down to a one-lap shoot-out in Abu Dhabi.
The Red Bull driver stormed past his title rival in the closing stages of the Grand Prix season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit, having benefited from a late safety car that bunched up the pack.
Hamilton was given a knighthood in the New Year Honours list in 2020 following pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to approve the accolade.
Despite being one of the UK’s most successful sportsmen, Hamilton – who matched Michael Schumacher’s record seven titles in 2020 and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a second time – had previously been overlooked, reportedly due to his tax affairs.
Hamilton’s knighthood was awarded in the overseas list as he relocated to Monaco in 2010.
A title battle we will never forget
— Formula 1 (@F1) December 12, 2021
Hamilton was gracious in defeat, acknowledging Verstappen in the small media interview he gave following the race and ahead of the appeals.
He shared an embrace with the man he battled against for the championship in 22 races this season.
“Congratulations to Max and his team. I think we did an amazing job this year,” he told Sky Sports.
“Everyone back at the factory and here worked so hard in this most difficult of seasons.
“I’m so proud of them and so grateful to be part of the journey with them.
“We gave it everything this last part of the season, we never gave up.”
The chaotic climax to the Formula One season left viewers angry and confused.
Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker tweeted: “What a joke. That stinks,” while money-saving expert Martin Lewis posted: “That was incredible. Doesn’t seem fair.”