Royal fan Hamilton says he would never refuse a knighthood

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his seventh F1 championship.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his seventh F1 championship.CREDIT:GETTY IMAGES

The Mercedes driver is now the most successful grand prix driver of all time and has been tipped by the media to become Britain’s latest sporting “Sir” in the country’s New Year’s honours list.

“Firstly, I would never ever turn down the royal family,” the 35-year-old said at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“I’ve grown up in the UK and I’m an avid fan of them. There is no greater honour than your country recognising you and honouring you with such an award.”

The late Australian triple world champion Jack Brabham was also knighted, as was the late Stirling Moss who is widely regarded as the greatest driver never to have won the title.

Hamilton’s admirers have suggested in the past that he is insufficiently appreciated at home.

Hamilton, winner of a record 94 races, secured his seventh title in Turkey this month to equal Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s tally.

The official @RoyalFamily Twitter account, which has 4.2 million followers compared to Hamilton’s six million, congratulated him on his “incredible success”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also hailed the Mercedes driver on Twitter, saying “you have made us all so proud”.

Hamilton, who comes from an under-privileged, multi-racial background, said it was “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”.