Cape Town – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton says it is an honour to hear English fans call for his knighthood, but insists he does not expect to receive the honour.
Hamilton, who has already received an MBE from the Queen, is without a doubt Britain’s most successful Formula 1 driver.
Earlier this month he wrapped up his sixth Drivers’ Championship, putting him just one away from equalling Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.
His success has led to calls from the likes of Motorsport UK chairman David Richards for the 34-year-old to be knighted.
Hamilton has downplayed the hoohah.
“I don’t really like to think too much about it,” he said.
“Just the fact that people have mentioned it, it’s already an honour, but it’s not been something that I’ve been chasing in my life.
“If, at any point, that was to happen, I don’t particularly know how I would handle it.
“I have stood in front of Her Majesty The Queen before and it was pretty incredible and I think she’s just awesome.
“Again, I don’t think it’s going to happen, and again, it doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t.
“It doesn’t mean I’m not British.
“It doesn’t mean I’m not continuing to try and raise the flag as well as I can but I do appreciate all the support I’ve had from my fans and also from the British media.”
Pressed as to why he didn’t think it would ever happen, he replied: “I don’t know, I just don’t think about it. I don’t know.”
Although Hamilton is arguably one of the UK’s most successful sportspeople, his team boss Toto Wolff feels he doesn’t receive the appreciation that his success deserves.
“It is difficult for me, as an Austrian, to understand the importance of the British honours system,” Wolff told The Telegraph.
“What I feel is that there is a lot of polarisation around Lewis, particularly in the UK. Why that is, I don’t know.
“But one thing I’m certain of is that one day, if he decides to stop his career, people will acknowledge his successes and what a great superstar he was.”