- Formula One World Championship title feels great
- But it is not everything
- Lewis Hamilton was knighted in 2021
Formula One World Championship title feels and looks like everything except that knighted F1 drivers know better.
Besides the adrenaline rush for 10 months on the racing tracks across the world, being recognized as a knight is a huge achievement. And only a handful of these talented men on the circuit are lucky to get such a social standing.
Who are the Knighted F1 Drivers?
Attaining knighthood stands as one of life’s highest honours. While numerous individuals have received this accolade for their exceptional global contributions, only six Formula 1 personalities hold this esteemed distinction. Here are the names of knighted F1 drivers.
1. Sir Lewis Hamilton
The 38-year-old Mercedes driver of British descent was knighted in December 2021 by then Prince Charles at Windsor Castle. This prestigious honour recognized his incredible career achievements for the past decade. Hamilton’s path to knighthood is undeniably extraordinary.
Since his 2007 debut, he has dominated Formula 1, securing seven World Championships. He matched Michael Schumacher’s record, clinching 103 race wins and earning numerous other accolades. His exceptional talent, coupled with unwavering dedication and passionate advocacy for social justice also rendered him a deserving recipient of this prestigious honor.
The ceremony itself marked a monumental occasion, occurring just three days after Hamilton narrowly missed an eighth World Championship in a contentious finish. It pitted him against his Red Bull rival Max Verstappen who controversially won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and subsequently the 2021 World Championship title.
Despite the emotional rollercoaster, Hamilton accepted the knighthood with grace and humility, recognizing the significance of the moment and dedicating it to his family and all those who have supported him throughout his illustrious career.
2. Sir Ron Dennis
As a reward for his outstanding achievements, former McLaren CEO Ron Dennis joins six other knighted F1 drivers. Dennis was knighted for his work outside of Formula 1 in addition to his achievements to the sport. It was under him that McLaren emerged from a struggling team in the 1970s to become a dominant force in F1 during the 1980s and 1990s.
They won 7 World Constructors’ Championships (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998, 2007, 2008) and 7 World Drivers’ Championships (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998, 2008, 2012). His exit from F1 saw him venture into business. He has invested in industrial manufacturing, aerospace, marine and automotive firms.
With this fortune, he is a philanthropist per excellence with huge donations to The Royal Marsden Hospital. It is a world-renowned center for cancer treatment and research.
3. Sir Jack Brabham
Sir Jack Brabham, the Australian virtuoso with a penchant for engineering excellence, secured three world championships. His distinction lies not solely in driving finesse but also in his pivotal role in advancing the rear-engined Coopers, marking a transformative moment in Formula 1.
Falling among knighted f1 drivers, Brabham was got his “Sir” status in 1979. His innovation, mentorship, and steadfast dedication to the sport shaped what it today’s F1.
4. Sir Frank Williams
Sir Frank Williams, an iconic figure synonymous with triumph and excellence, was knighted in 1999. Transitioning from a racing driver to a team owner/principal, Sir Williams guided the Williams Formula 1 team to extraordinary achievements. His legacy encompasses overseeing an impressive 114 victories and clinching a total of 16 drivers’ and constructors’ world championships.
5. Sir Stirling Moss
In 2000, the racing community honoured Sir Stirling Moss, a genuine legend who famously referred to himself as the “best racer never to have won a Formula One driver’s title.” Celebrated for his 16 Grand Prix victories, Sir Moss indelibly influenced the sport. His three occasions of finishing in the No. 2 position in the drivers’ standings, consistently behind his close friend Juan Manuel Fangio, epitomized an era marked by intense competition and sportsmanship.
6. Sir Jackie Stewart
SirJackcie Stewart is a legend among knighted F1 drivers. He was inducted into knighthood at 62. He is a three-time world champion, securing titles in 1969, 1971, and 1973. Stewart ventured into team ownership by co-founding Stewart Grand Prix in 1997.
Beyond mere victories, his influence reached into the business realm of the sport. In a historic achievement, Stewart Grand Prix secured second place in only its fifth race in 1999, paving the way for their eventual triumph at the European Grand Prix.
7. Sir Patrick Head
2015 witnessed the crowning of F1’s fifth knight – Sir Patrick Head. He is the co-founder and former technical director of the iconic Williams team. Alongside his close partner, Sir Frank Williams, Head steered Williams Grand Prix Engineering to unimaginable heights, leaving an indelible mark on the sport’s history.