By on December 15, 2021

Lewis Hamilton was knighted by the British royal family on Wednesday. The seven-time Formula 1 champion was dubbed by a sword held by Prince Charles at Windsor Castle, presumably because Gan-Gan and company thought he was due for another title.

Instead, Hamilton lost to Max Verstappen during the final lap of the last race at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that took place on Sunday. Verstappen squeaked by the 36-year old Brit on Lap 58, creating a bunch of confusion about whether or not the pass took place while the safety car was on the field. Mercedes protested, alleging that Max had made an illegal pass and that Hamilton would have won the event if all lapped vehicles had overtaken the safety car due to the time allotted before the restart. It was a close race with a confusing ending. But the victory was ultimately handed to Verstappen — making knighthood a consolatory prize for Hamilton. 

Ultimately, race director Michael Masi is going to take most of the blame for the way the race ended. He was the one that reversed the call to allow lapped cars to pass and established the scenario that made that final lap so contentious. Ah well. Hamilton has more than a few F1 championships under his belt already, whereas Verstappen just has the one.

Sir Hamilton follows in the footsteps of Jack Brabham, Frank Williams, and Jackie Stewart (knighted in 1978, 1999, and 2001, respectively). He’s expected to be at the FIA’s end-of-year Gala in Paris to receive his runner-up trophy on Thursday. After that, he’s bound to be back on social media (he’s been absent since December 11th) telling you to reduce your carbon footprint while he jets around the world to race automobiles and model clothes in exchange for millions of dollars. He’s easily one of the least palatable racing personalities ever to take the field, in my estimation. But if the British royals are doling out knighthood strictly on the basis of how good someone is at driving fast, then they really couldn’t have chosen anyone better.

[Image: The Royal Family]

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50 Comments on “They Knighted Lewis Hamilton After He Lost...”


  • avatar
    jmo2

    “ Sir Hamilton”

    It’s Sir Lewis or Sir Lewis Hamilton but never Sir Hamilton. If he married however his wife would be known as Lady Hamilton.

  • avatar
    BrandX

    John Paul Sr. and Randy Lanier are more “palatable racing personalities” for you?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    knighting, Nobel, Pulitzer – so diluted. Biden got Medal of Freedom… https://tinyurl.com/2p98f24u
    Its a joke!

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t let that perv touch me with my sword.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      Surely you are confusing Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Man With The Elephant Ears, with his much younger bruvver Andrew? The latter was Epstein’s pal, while Charles shown here doing the dubbing married the fragrant Diana but preferred his old girlfriend Camilla.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Lewis Hamilton, from all accounts of anyone who’s met him, is supposed to be a nice, humble guy despite all of his titles, who’s happy to help out anyone he can and who’s an absolute delight in person. Max Verstappen is an arrogant jackass who publicly joked about how the best thing he’d bought was his girlfriend.

    I think the royal family are a joke, but I can’t fault them on this one.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      Astigmatism, agree.

      Lewis Hamilton is A PERSON who races. The new minions F1 is raising nowadays are pure talent with no personhood whatsoever attached to it. Like, joke people who happen to be good at racing. And Verstappen is the worst of them all. What’s talent – or more generally high achievement as such – supposed to represent as a human value, when there is a joker attached to it?

      Also, “you can tell a Posky headline from a mile away.”

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      You’re pretty lucky to have both of them.

      Which other drivers did you get to meet?

  • avatar
    Urlik

    It was announced last January in the queen’s New Years proclamation that he would be knighted this year.

  • avatar
    probert

    Couldn’t fit in any more dismissiveness about the greatest racer of this generation, and one of all time, or did the keyboard start to melt? FFS

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    Three days later, and I am still fuming about what happened at the end of the race. Formula One is all about the rules, and they broke their own rules to allow Verstappen to win.

    Not that Verstappen was not deserving, but this should really not have been his day. If they had red flagged the race, and let Hamilton put on fresh tires to match Verstappen (as Verstappen had done during a red flag in the previous race), then it would have at least been a fair fight to the end.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I am surprised they still allow F1. F1 was supposed to be a testing ground for different engine tech that later made its way into mainstream engines. But now that they announced ICE dead, what is the point?

    • 0 avatar
      Urlik

      Ultimately I thought Mercedes should have trusted the car and Hammy and pitted at the VSC or safety car, had they done that he would have won with the reversed tire situation.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I’ve been watching F1 for years and this ending was a mess of nonsense. Of the millions of things that could have happened we somehow got this bonkers outcome. It was crazy and exciting… yet feels hollow. F1 rules are sea of gray areas that seem specifically written to allow multiple interpretations. I fully understand why the race director made this call, but given the stakes in this one unique race it was always going to be under the microscope and will now have an asterisk in the history books regardless of the “winner”. Lewis and Max did their best all year and both are worthy champions, yet someone had to come 2nd. I didn’t personally care who won I just watch F1 for the technology and strategy. The drama factor was always there but with Drive to Survive on Netflix it has been cranked up to 11.

      IndyCar is 100X better if you want actually racing, with close finishes and great battles on each track. And IMSA 12/24 hour racing is better if want to see real cars. NASCAR is too much of crash fest and has a WWE vibe to it I can’t stand.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    TTAC doesn’t report on racing, except when they do and then they report at a People Magazine level.

    (First picture: That one chair in the background is exactly like the one I don’t have.)

  • avatar
    MitchConner

    F1’s time has come and gone. Ugly cars. Silly drivetrains. Budweiser and Pizza Hut exhaust notes. Racing in trash countries like China and Saudi Arabia. Drivers like Max who need a good beating because they’re such weasels. Turd burglars like Christian Horner. Boring parades for races. Awful television announcers who never shut up as they describe in detail what we can plainly see.

    Lewis is a great driver. One of the best. He does try to bond with fans by going near the stands and tossing a few hats in the crowd every once in a while — which is perceived as revolutionary in the terminally constipated world of F1 yet is commonly done at NASCAR and NHRA events. But his activism act is so contrived. Talking about climate change when you’re racing in a series that FLIES TONS of equipment AROUND THE WORLD annually? Lecturing that F1 is racist when he’s banking millions annually? Just shut up already.

    That said, he probably made the single best career move in the history of motorsports when he bolted for the unproven Mercedes team from McLaren. It easily could have turned out to be Fernando going to Ferrari or returning to McLaren — but it set the table for his amazing career — so good on him for having the guts to do it.

  • avatar
    redapple

    1. Im kinda done with F1. Said it before.
    a DRS
    b DRS can only be used then this that this other thing occurs.
    c tiny fart can engines with hybrid systems to blah and blah
    d must use 2 types of tires.
    e cannot refuel
    f i could go on. you get the point

    2 I find sir lewis, stuck up, self centered, drama queen who thinks his celebrity is proof of knowledge on social issues. Jam it sideways buddy.

    3 Races located in 3 world skank hole and NOT IN THE HISTORIC LOCATIONS. N Ring, France, and so forth

    4 uneven rules enforcement. Unpaid local marshalls making rulings that change race results.

    PS- Was it the Belgian GP that was a total joke? I tuned out. Just like i tuned out the NFL. CFL is better !!!

    I M DONE WITH ALL THINGS F 1 . I M DONE. BYE.

  • avatar
    Socrates77

    They took his win because they couldn’t let a black man beat a white man’s record. FIA is rigged by rich entitled white men. Pathetic

  • avatar
    Socrates77

    Stupidity, that’s why Socrates drank the poison. He knew he couldn’t escape a world ran by entitle idiots

  • avatar
    haze3

    The general F1 and driver angst seems overdone.

    For Lewis and Max, driving is the job, full stop. The rest (media, endorsements, causes) is noise, really, and Lewis and Max are extraordinary drivers.

    To the degree that one doesn’t like the “noise” from either driver is really beside the point. Lewis is a 7 time WDC with more wins than any F1 driver in history. Knighthood is as, or more, deserved as it was for any of the others who received that distinction. That DRS and batteries have been a thing during the bulk of his career does not diminish his quality.

    All this said, the final race did end in a cluster. I get Masi’s desire to get the top cars aligned for a 1v1 green last lap. However, b/c the decision was an improv and not settled “law”, the teams (esp. Merc) had to guess instead of strategize. Masi’s call definitely favored Max (on fresh softs by that time), though that doesn’t mean it was a conspiracy. He probably would have done the same thing were Lewis sitting 2nd. Who would want a championship tied going into the last race to end under yellow? I’d probably have done a red to avoid that but Masi is the pro, not me. By any measure, Merc was unlucky overall as they clearly had the better car (leading and pulling away) and, to no fault of their own, pretty much everything went against them in the last few laps.

  • avatar
    Funky D

    I have tried to be a fan of F1 and find the whole thing a snoozefest. While the speed at which the cars can fly around the track is impressive, there is very little actual competition. That being said, at least Verstappen has brought some much-needed excitement to the table.

    The thing that amazes me about the Abu Dhabi race is that F1 actually happened upon a real winner-take-all event, like NASCAR did 10 years ago with Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards, and while NASCAR somehow had a controversy-free event, F1 managed to cluck it up by sheer mismanagement and blew it.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I lost interest shortly after they stopped using the Le Mans start.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      Good for you Arfur. There never was a Le Mans start in Formula One. Ever.

      Perhaps we can get a racing series of late ’60s and early ’70s Detroit personal coupes using the Le Mans start. Twenty entries per race. 20 Frank Cannon lookalikes can hobble with flopping beer guts 40 yards to their Lincoln Continentals and then tear around Mid Ohio at 35 mph with never-ending tire squeals.

  • avatar
    Syke

    2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, the final race of the 2008 season. Hamilton and Timo Glock ended up in a situation not unlike this past race (although Hamilton was running fifth at the time) and caused a bit of controversy not unlike what just happened.

    The difference? Hamilton WON his first Formula 1 championship when all was said and done, finishing just high enough to outpoint Felipe Massa (who won the race).

    The first time, fate worked in Sir Lawrence’s favor. This time it didn’t. Quit whining.

  • avatar
    Socrates77

    In 2008 the FIA didn’t make magically disappear 4 cars that were lap down with the pace car being involved. This was rigged and they still haven’t explain why was the reason to this decision that was rush to accommodate red bull.

    • 0 avatar
      haze3

      Don’t think it was rigged. However, given the choice of what they did vs. redflag vs. finishing under yellow, I’d choose red-flag over the clearing only a subset of the lapped cars. No way should they have finished under yellow. Again, I expect the decision would have been the same had Lewis and Max’s situations been reversed.

      If they had red-flagged, they’d probably be arguing over the fairness of a standing start (also better for RB than yellow finish) even w/ equal tires. RB held the tie breaker (most wins), so if the cars come together in turn 1… Max wins WDC.

      Was a mess coming and going. Masi probably went out and punched Latifi after the race for having such an inopportune shunt.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I am less than pleased with the current state of F1. The sound, particularly, is terrible. I remember those screaming, almost painful V10’s and V12’s at 20,000 rpm. An aural symphony. I also recall when Lewis won his first title there was some concern as, I believe, Jarno Trulli managed to allow a pass he had resisted for several laps which gave Hamilton enough counters to be Champion. The name of the second place driver is lost to the vagueries of age. The point is that the same rules you extoll can be pointed against you. We have all been disappointed by the racing for twenty years now, but I will give them credit for at least trying to think of a remedy, even though they have all failed. But, to dismiss the drama that happens at midfield is to miss the majority of action. This year I was especially concerned with Alonso because he seemed to be almost on the cusp of a return to relevance. Riccardo and his mate at McLaren were also excellent – at times, while being outstandingly stupid at others. IndyCar is rapidly improving their product with some very engaging drivers in the lineup. However, F1, for good or evil, is the best racing extant. I’m expecting Lewis to do something again, and soon.

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