Lewis Hamilton has heard how the Queen was watching as he overtook Timo Glock in a thrilling last-gasp bid to take the Formula One World Championship at Interlagos in November.
He visited Buckingham Palace as one of 120 guests at the Palace’s State Ballroom to be officially awarded the MBE he received in the New Years Honours List for his services to motor racing.
Afterwards, an elated Lewis said: “To go to the Palace today and meet Her Majesty The Queen was an incredible experience, following what has been an intense, exciting and unbelievable 12 months of my life.
“I’m so proud of the reception I have received from everybody in the United Kingdom. People’s enthusiasm and support – even during the tough times – really kept me going and helped me through an extremely demanding year.
“To be recognised alongside the people who make an outstanding and selfless contribution to society, is truly humbling and I’d like to thank Her Majesty The Queen, her Government and the British public for bestowing this honour on me.”
He said that he would also like to thank his family for helping him make his dream a reality, as well as McLaren “for taking a chance on me when I was just 13 years old.”
He continued: “I still can’t believe I’m in Formula 1 and that I’m now a World Champion – it’s incredible.
“I don’t think you realise until you’re standing in front of her how special it is. The Queen said she watched very closely the last few laps. She was asking about the car.
“The pressure’s on now. She’ll be watching as I go into the first race.”
No pressure, Lewis…