Max Verstappen insists he ‘doesn’t need’ knighthood like Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing

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Max Verstappen has insisted he ‘doesn’t need’ a knighthood after Formula One arch rival Lewis Hamilton collected the gong following the end of the 2021 campaign.

Hamilton appeared in front of Prince Charles just three days after the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi last week to receive his knighthood at Windsor Castle.

The Englishman was recognised in the New Years’ honours list following his joint record-breaking seventh world title in 2020, matching the record of racing great Michael Scuhmacher.

It no doubt provided a much needed boost for Hamilton, who controversially missed out on an eighth F1 championship to Verstappen in Abu Dhabi.

The Dutchman took advantage of a rather contentious overtaking safety car ruling to nip past the long-leading Hamilton on the final lap of the final race of the campaign, to secure his very first world title.

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Following his dramatic championship win, Verstappen revealed that whilst he can not become a ‘sir’ in his home of the Netherlands, he believes he does not need such recognition any way.

He commented: “I can’t become a sir in Holland, but I don’t need to either.”

Verstappen went on to add that the only recognition he requires of being the world’s best racing driver is his Formula One crown.

The Dutchman continued: “I am a racing driver. The title of world champion is enough.”

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Of course Verstappen’s victory did come in controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi, as FIA director Michael Masi ordered a number of lapped cars between the Dutchman and Hamilton to overlap a deployed safety car on the track.

This therefore allowed Verstappen to wipe out the Englishman’s once comfortable lead at the front, as the pair were left side-by-side and decided the title with a final lap shootout.

As a result the fresher tyres on the Dutchman’s car ultimately helped him brush off Hamilton, but this finish left a sour taste in the mouth of many in the racing world, no more so than Mercedes who lodged two unsuccessful appeals.

Whilst Verstappen admitted his win was a lucky one, he feels he and his team were more than deserving of collecting the sport’s biggest prize.

He told the BBC: “We have won it on track. People say it was a lucky win. Absolutely, the win was very lucky.

“But we also have been very unlucky throughout the season, otherwise the championship would have been decided way earlier, even with the dominance Mercedes had towards the end of the season.

“I’m like, ‘Well, sometimes a little bit of luck in your life is nice as well.'”

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