Max Verstappen becomes ‘higher ranked’ European civilian than Sir Lewis Hamilton after receiving prestigious honour

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver on the circuit and even in terms of ranks, he enjoys the highest civilian honour (knighthood) among all drivers currently competing in F1.

However, that has now changed after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was appointed Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau.

This honour is a civil and military Dutch order of chivalry, much like Hamilton’s knighthood.

Netherlands’ Minister for Sport, Conny Helder, presented Max with this royal title.

Similar to Britain, Netherlands also works as a constitutional monarchy, which has a royal family as well as prime minister.

The Order of Orange-Nassau was first founded in Netherlands under Queen Wilhelmina. In many ways, it is very similar to how the knighthood is conferred in England.

Does Max now outrank Hamilton?

max lewis
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Credit:

However, the title presented to Verstappen outranks that given to Hamilton, who is a Knight Bachelor with an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).

In terms of where it is placed on the hierarchy, the MBE is the fifth and lowest in the British Order, wgile an Officer sits in fourth position in Netherlands and is above both Member and Knight.

That being said, Verstappen currently outranks Hamilton in the European continent, both on and off the track (tongue in cheek).

Ever since last season, Hamilton and Verstappen fans have been locked in a heated debate.

Not only was the 2021 season a very closely fought affair, it was also full of controversies, none bigger than the one that Hamilton fans will claim robbed the Stevenage-born driver of a record eighth title.

With the upcoming Grand Prix set to take place in Netherlands, there perhaps could not have been any time better to award Verstappen this title, especially after how dominant he has looked this season.

That’s not all, though. Max was even awarded a Dutch race license #1 by the Knac National Motorsport Federation (KNAF).

“What an achievement, what an impressive career, and what an ambassador you are for our country and our sport,” said KNAF president Jan de Wit.

Max was understandably thrilled to receive the award.

“It is a great honour to receive this appointment. I am very thankful to my family and close friends for their support, from my very first racing years until now,” he said.

“I also want to thank Red Bull and my personal sponsors. Without all this support I would not be where I am today. In addition, I want to thank my fans worldwide, and in particular the Orange Army.

“Their encouragements time after time are overwhelming and it is incredible to see so many Dutch people involved in the sport.

“I am looking forward immensely to my home race this coming weekend, the Dutch Grand Prix.”

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