Lewis Hamilton has been knighted by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle just days after he was dramatically denied history at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Brit was seen speaking to Prince Charles at Windsor Castle just moments after receiving his knighthood on Wednesday morning.
Sir Lewis has become just the fourth F1 driver to be knighted after Sir Jackie Stewart in 2001, Sir Stirling Moss in 2000 and Sir Jack Brabham in 1979.
The motorsport icon was denied a record eighth title in Abu Dhabi on Sunday as Max Verstappen claimed his maiden championship in controversial circumstances.
Hamilton was cruising to an unprecedented eighth world title on Sunday, having led arch title rival Verstappen by 11 seconds going into the remaining laps. But a last-gasp crash to Nicholas Latifi dramatically changed the landscape of the race and the title battle.
The safety car was brought onto the track and Verstappen opted for a change in tyres. FIA race director Michael Masi initially instructed that lapped cars could not overtake the safety vehicle until it left the track, meaning there would not have been time for Verstappen to get behind his rival.
However, under pressure from Red Bull boss Christian Horner, Masi then controversially changed his mind, allowing the cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves before ordering the safety car off the track.
Therefore, the Dutchman could get on the British driver's tail before overtaking him in a one-lap shootout, benefiting from driving on newer tyres.
A distraught Hamilton could be heard saying: "This is getting manipulated man", before sitting in complete silence after crossing the line as Verstappen saw off his rival in a final lap sprint race.
Despite the controversy surrounding the season finale, Hamilton was gracious in defeat.
"Firstly congratulations to Max and to his team. I think we did an amazing job this year," he said.
"My team, everyone back at the factory, have worked so hard this whole year, it's been the most difficult of seasons.
"I'm so proud of them and I'm so grateful to be a part of the journey with them.
"This last part of the season we gave it absolutely everything and never gave up."
Since then, we have not heard from Hamilton but fans received an update from his brother Nicolas.
"I tried to speak to him but I think I’m just going to leave him for a bit. We all know what it’s like when things are difficult.
"My mum and dad are with him and they said he’s okay. I think he’s just in a place where he doesn’t want to talk to anyone, including me.
"When you’ve had a bad day, the last thing you want to do is talk about it, everyone’s got an opinion, the thing you need is your bro calling you up and talking about it, so I can understand it."
Following the race, the 29-year-old brother took to Instagram and labelled Sunday’s controversial events as “a disgrace.”
"THE TRUE CHAMPION!
"The FIA broke their own rules, which is a disgrace to our whole sport. Nevertheless, regardless of being mistreated today, the Hamilton’s were humble in defeat.
"Proving people wrong is in our DNA, which Lewis does on a daily basis. With utter professionalism & decency in defeat, even though we all know, that he was let down by the sport that he has given so much to.
"Congratulations to Max for such a fantastic season from him."
Mercedes has served the intent of a notice to appeal the outcome of Sunday’s race and the decisions of FIA chief Masi – and they have until Thursday to trigger that option.
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