The ending to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix soured the whole “cars go vroom vroom” experience even for a Formula 1 noob such as myself. That’s probably something the sport did not want, given its newfound popularity coming off the Netflix Drive to Survive series. The controversial Safety Car shenanigans at the end of what appeared to be a wild season left Lewis Hamilton and his team scrambling to appeal after he got seemingly screwed out of what would have been a record-breaking eighth drivers’ championship on Sunday. Though Hamilton was a classy lad in the immediate aftermath of the race, it has to sting that something unprecedented and out of his control took history from his grasp.
The good news is that he’s going to get knighted on Wednesday, and that’s something people apparently fucking love:
The timing of Hamilton’s knighthood is funny on its own. One has to imagine that he would have preferred to stand at the top of the podium in Abu Dhabi than kneel before the queen, or whatever lesser duke subs in for Her Definitely-Not-Sick-And-Totally-Fine Majesty. For that matter, he’d likely rather be kneeling at the start of a race, as he has since last season in anti-racism demonstrations.
The knighthood, typically a sign of great achievement and grace in a chosen field, is doubly funny after reading comments from former Formula 1 team owner and current pundit Eddie Jordan, who said that Hamilton was “too nice” to rival and adult baby Max Verstappen, and that said niceness was what cost him the title. Surely, if Hamilton had been a right proper bastard, Michael Masi would not have played jump rope with F1 regulations during the chaotic ending at Abu Dhabi. Instead, Hamilton acted like a weenie by continuing to drive his car the same way he was driving it for the first 57 laps of the race. Clearly a sign of weak character.
Though I have watched a season and a half of Drive to Survive in the last day or so, I don’t yet know much about Hamilton as a person, beyond him being handsome, having a great accent, and bringing Black designers with him to the Met Gala. All good things, but things that pale in comparison to the grand honor of becoming a knight of a fallen empire, I suppose. “Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton of Stevenage” does have a nice ring to it, though.
So, while the Formula 1 world waits for Team Luxury German Automobiles to appeal the results of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix—an appeal that will go in front of a panel assembled by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, Formula 1’s governing body that will absolutely not rule against itself—Hamilton can be comforted in receiving an honor that Elton John once described as being worth “fuck all.” Sorry, that’s Sir Elton John. It’s a shame that Hamilton is so nice that he won’t commit to the grind and turn down the knighthood in order to focus on the appeal drama. But I guess that’s why he has only won seven drivers’ championships, and not eight.