The knighthood – which means he will be known formally as Sir Lewis Hamilton – has been awarded at the end of a year that saw him match Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 World Championship titles and surpass the German's race wins tally.
He has also pursued a campaign to increase diversity in the sport and frequently spoken out against racism in society, although the honour is for his services to motorsports. It comes exactly 12 years after Hamilton, following his first World Championship title, became a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to motor racing.
Hamilton is the third F1 World Champion to receive a knighthood, following Jack Brabham (in 1978) and Jackie Stewart (2001), while the honour also went to Stirling Moss (2000). However, Hamilton is the first to gain this status while still an active driver.
In addition, racers and land speed record breakers Henry Segrave (1929) and Malcolm Campbell (1931) were both knighted before World War II.
2008 FIA Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, and winning constructor Ferrari Team director Stefano Domenicali
Earlier this month Hamilton received recognition from the British public when he was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a second time, having previously won the prestigious award in 2014.
He also won the 2020 Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year prize, sharing it with footballer Lionel Messi.