Lewis Hamilton should be rewarded for winning his sixth Formula One world championship by receiving a knighthood in the New Year Honours, says the head of Motorsport UK.
Hamilton cruised to a third successive title in 2019 and is now just one shy of Michael Schumacher's all-time record of seven championships.
The 34-year-old was awarded an OBE in 2008, following his maiden championship triumph, but David Richards, the head of British motor racing's governing body, believes it would be an oversight if Hamilton does not receive a higher honour this time.
Labour peer Lord Peter Hain has written to UK prime minister Boris Johnson to declare his support for Hamilton to receive a knighthood, and Richards insists the Mercedes driver is worthy of the title.
"Naturally as the governing body of motorsport in the UK we wholeheartedly support Peter Hain," Richards told the Guardian.
"I can't think of anyone more worthy of that recognition than Lewis. It would be a major oversight if that is not recognised in the New Year Honours.
"Lewis is far more remarkable in that he did not come from a privileged background. He and his father worked incredibly hard to get into karting and up the steps of the ladder.
"It was sheer hard graft, not gifted to him on a plate. They made huge sacrifices and that makes his achievements even more extraordinary.
"He is a role model for underprivileged children in the UK to show them that anything is possible. I hope he uses that to help and leave a legacy for other kids to show their ambitions are achievable."