11 Mar 2009

Lewis hamilton receives MBE

9:59 am on 11 March 2009

The British motor racing driver Lewis Hamilton has been awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II for his achievement in becoming the youngest Formula One champion in history.

24-year-old Hamilton, who donned a grey pinstripe suit for his visit to Buckingham Palace, says he was so nervous to meet the Queen, it was one of the most overwhelming experiences he's ever had.

He says the monarch revealed she had watched the crunch race in Brazil in November which saw Hamilton pip local hero Felipe Massa of Ferrari to the title in a thrilling finish to the season.

Hamilton is currently preparing with his McLaren team for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in just over 2 weeks and says he expects the queen will be keeping tabs on his progress.

The MBE, (Member of the Order of the British Empire) is now the lowest-tier award in the complex hierarchy of Britain's public honours system.