Lewis Hamilton is set to receive a knighthood after Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed him on the ‘Diplomatic and Overseas List’ in order to bypass tax concerns.
The Formula 1 star won a record-equalling seventh world championship this year and was crowned the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.
There have been calls from some quarters for him to receive the knighthood, partly due to his sporting success and partly for his work campaigning for greater diversity in the sport.
However, others have criticised the 35-year-old after he lived in tax exile in Monaco.
But according to the Daily Mail Johnson is determined for Hamilton to be honoured, so much so that he has controversially put him on the aforementioned list so that he can be involved in the New Year Honours on Thursday.
A source allegedly told the publication: “Boris made it clear he wanted Lewis knighted so everyone was backed into a corner.”
It is believed that no other British sporting figure in history has been honoured in such a manner, and there will no doubt be frenzied debate to follow over whether it is the correct decision.
Hamilton was awarded with an MBE in 2008, following his first world title.
He will become the fourth F1 to be knighted, following in the footsteps of Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart.
Hamilton has regularly spoken out about his support of the Black Lives Matter movement this year, and regularly took the knee on the winner’s podium after races.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 recently, he said on the matter: “There is no way that I could stay silent. And once I said that to myself, I didn’t hold any fear.
“We can’t let this movement die a quiet death. We have got to keep it alive but I think the curriculums need to shift finally. And my nieces and nephews, I want them to learn about both of their sides.”