Should Knighthood Be In Lewis Hamilton's Future
His on track performance is undisputed. Off the track? Different story.
So Lewis Hamilton is a bit of an acquired taste. You either love him or hate him and it is mostly down to his off track antics. What you can not dispute is his talent on the track. In his "office" few have matched Lewis' success. Yes, he has had the benefit of driving the best car but his fourth world championship makes him Britain's most successful racing driver which could mean a visit to the Queen is in Hamilton's future. Question is, even if he is the United Kingdom's greatest driver does he deserve to bend the knee?
Before Lewis came along the title of United Kingdom's most successful racing driver" belonged to Jackie Stewart... Sorry, Sir Jackie Stewart. Obviously he was knighted. Stewart was not only a champion driver he was also a major player in making Formula 1 safer. Before he came along it was an accepted fact that two Grand Prix drivers would die every season. Let that sink in, two drivers every year would not survive the season.
Stewart famously drove in races with a wrench taped to his steering wheel should he find himself in an accident requiring him to remove the wheel to exit the vehicle. That is unthinkable today but back then tracks were larger and safety workers weren't at the ready, near by, ready to pounce at a moment's notice.
Thanks to Stewart's efforts literal lives were saved. Many of the safety regulations that followed were a direct response to Stewart and his unwavering determination to improve safety. Now in today's day and age it would be literally impossible for Hamilton to have the same impact as Stewart did. Safety is priority number one where in Stewart's day Safety was priority number, I don't know, number eventually? Point is even with the best of intentions Hamilton would be hard pressed to match Stewart's performance off the track.
Then there is the difference in personalities. Stewart is exactly the type of personality you'd expect to be knighted. He may be Scottish at heart but he carries himself with a quiet dignity and class everywhere he goes. He is the old school. Hamilton in contrast is not, he is the "new school" Tattoos, piercings, out going and a part of the party scene. I firmly believe that Hamilton did so much off the track after his dominant Championship in 2015 that the collective hangover and bad luck led to his slow start in 2016. Yes, Stewart raced during the swinging 60's but from all accounts he was far from the biggest partier out there.
Personally I could care less what Hamilton does in his free time. I used to be a fan, I appreciate his skill on and off the track, but I always found myself rooting for him more out of spite towards Sebastian Vettel than pure admiration of Hamilton. Take nothing away from Seb but his Red Bulls were so dominant I was rooting for anyone to knock them off. Now I find myself gravitating towards the Red Bull drivers because Max Verstappen could be a once in a generation talent and if you don't like Daniel Ricciardo then there is something seriously wrong with you. Point of all this is to ask the question, while I may not care, is Lewis' off track shenanigans something befitting a Knight?
I guess all of this depends on what is required to actually be a Knight. Medieval knighthood was an award for military merit, modern knighthood is awarded for outstanding achievement in one’s field of endeavor, whether it be business and industry, education, the sciences, religion, or entertainment. Even though he may be viewed as a monumental douche canoe off the track Lewis has earned outstanding achievement in his field and thus would be well within the realm to be Knighted.