Which F1 Personalities Have Been Knighted? Lewis Hamilton, Ron Dennis & More

Published 12/30/2023, 12:47 PM EST

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via Reuters

Receiving a knighthood is perhaps one of the greatest honors one can achieve in life. While there are many who have been knighted for their exemplary global or international services, there are only 6 Formula 1 personalities who have received this honor with the last knight being Sir Lewis Hamilton.

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In a well-deserved recognition of his remarkable contributions, former McLaren chief Ron Dennis now becomes the 7th F1 personality to receive a knighthood. His Knighthood, however, is not for only his contributions to Formula 1, but also for his work outside it. And to add to the list of F1 personalities who have been honored by the British Monarchy is Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, who recently received CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) at the British New Year’s Honor and moves one step closer to becoming a knight.

Who are the 6 recipients of Knighthood in the world of Formula 1?

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Formula 1 as a sport itself is defined by the pursuit of excellence. Throughout the history of F1, people have come along who have raised that bar ever higher and higher. Here is everyone who has ever been bestowed upon the honor of Knighthood.

Sir Jack Brabham: Pioneering Excellence

The journey of Formula 1 personalities getting Knighthood began with Sir Jack Brabham. The Australian maestro, with an appetite for engineering brilliance, clinched three world championships. Sir Brabham’s uniqueness lies not only in his driving finesse but also in his active contribution to developing the rear-engined Coopers that signaled a paradigm shift in Formula 1. Knighted in 1979, Sir Jack Brabham’s legacy extends beyond the racetrack, embracing innovation, mentorship, and an enduring commitment to the sport.

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Sir Frank Williams: A Legacy of Triumphs

Next on our list is Sir Frank Williams, a towering figure whose name is synonymous with victory and excellence. Knighted in 1999, Sir Williams, a former racing driver turned team owner/principal, steered the Williams Formula 1 team to exceptional heights. His journey includes overseeing a staggering 114 victories and securing a combined 16 drivers’ and constructors’ world championships. Sir Frank Williams’ legacy, marked by strategic brilliance and steadfast dedication, continues to shape the narrative of Formula 1.

Sir Stirling Moss: A Racing royalty

In the year 2000, the racing world paid respect to Sir Stirling Moss, a true legend who dubbed himself the “best racer never to have won a Formula One driver’s title.” Renowned for his 16 Grand Prix victories, Sir Moss left a lasting mark on the sport. His three instances of securing the No. 2 spot in the drivers’ standings, always trailing his close friend Juan Manuel Fangio, encapsulated an era of fierce competition and sportsmanship. Beyond the accolades, Sir Stirling Moss stands as a testament to the spirit of racing royalty.

Sir Jackie Stewart: Racing and Beyond

Knighted at the age of 62, Sir Jackie Stewart‘s story in Formula 1 goes beyond the thrill of the racetrack. The three-time world champion, with championship titles in 1969, 1971, and 1973, ventured into team ownership, co-founding Stewart Grand Prix in 1997. His impact extended beyond victories, as he charted a course into the business side of the sport. In 1999, Stewart Grand Prix secured second place in only its fifth race, a start to their historic victory at the European Grand Prix. Sir Jackie Stewart remains a symbol of excellence on and off the track.

Sir Patrick Head: An Engineering Genius

In 2015, we got F1’s fifth Knight, Sir Patrick Head, the co-founder and former technical director of the Williams Formula 1 team. Knighted for his exceptional contributions alongside Sir Frank Williams, Sir Patrick Head played an important role in shaping the path of Williams Grand Prix Engineering since its inception in 1977. The iconic FW07 car’s first victory in 1979 marked the beginning of a successful journey, accumulating 114 wins, 9 constructors’ championships, and 7 driver’s titles. Sir Patrick Head’s engineering insight, paired with strategic brilliance, will always grace Formula 1’s engineering hall of fame.

Sir Lewis Hamilton: A Seemingly Unstoppable Force

Our journey through the Knights of Formula 1 culminates in the historic knighthood of Sir Lewis Hamilton. Honored in the 2021 New Year Honours list, Hamilton’s title of Knighthood recognized his monumental achievement of securing a record-equaling seventh F1 World Championship. Despite the dramatic finale in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where his eighth championship title slipped away, Hamilton’s grace and dignity in defeat added a new level to his legendary status. With 103 F1 wins under his belt, Sir Lewis Hamilton stands as a living testament to the sport’s enduring excellence.

McLaren’s Famed Boss Ron Dennis’ Visionary Mindset Applauded as Zak Brown Deals With Its Deteriorating F1 Situation

Finally, we have a new member who will join this prestigious list of F1 personalities receiving Knighthood.

Ron Dennis receives the honor of Knighthood and Christian Horner is next in line

Former McLaren chief Sir Ron Dennis, an inspiration in Formula 1, now stands as the seventh personality to be knighted. With over 35 years dedicated to McLaren Racing, including an impressive 28-year tenure as team principal, Sir Dennis oversaw multiple title triumphs with iconic racers like Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, and Sir Lewis Hamilton.

Yet, Sir Dennis’s Knighthood is not just a celebration of Formula 1 glory. At 76, he is the chairman and founder of Podium Analytics, a venture collaborating with sports stars to mitigate the risk of injuries. Driven by personal experience, Dennis also passionately supports Tommy’s, a pregnancy charity he helped create which is committed to reducing complications during childbirth and supporting unfortunate families who face heartbreaking situations.

With the Formula 1 community celebrating Sir Ron Dennis’s knighthood, another figure steps into the spotlight.

Christian Horner, the mastermind behind Red Bull‘s dominant 2023 season, receives the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his outstanding services to motorsport. Already an Officer of the British Empire (OBE), Horner’s leadership led Red Bull to unprecedented victories and points, clinching the 2023 title with authority.

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Since assuming control of Red Bull’s Formula 1 venture in 2005, Horner’s strategic acumen orchestrated a triumphant journey with 113 race victories, 264 podium finishes, six Constructors’ Championships, and seven Drivers’ Championships. Red Bull, in a press release, acknowledged the CBE as a nod to Horner’s exceptional contributions.

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Is there anyone in particular you think deserves to receive the knighthood for their contributions to F1 and motorsports as a whole? Share your thoughts down below in the comments.

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Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh

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Edited by:

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