Recent news of Lewis Hamilton receiving a knighthood in the New Year's honours list has left one London cabbie 'gutted'.
John Smith, 56, has been a black cab driver for 30 years, and in that time has taken close to 600,000 fares. But news of Lewis Hamilton's knighthood left him fuming, as he explained:
'In my time, I've driven expectant mothers to hospital, I've got brides-to-be to the church on time, I've got a nurse to her ward, who then went on to save lives! Business has been done, because I got the chap to his meeting, creating trade, jobs and a stable economy! All because of me and my cab!'
'What's he done?' he continued, 'just sat there and whizzed round in a better car than anyone else? Appeared in a few adverts for a huge watch no one wants or can afford? And he's now a knight of the realm? For that? The world's gone mad, I tell you!'
When we explained what an achievement winning seven World Drivers' Championship titles was, and about Hamilton's 'off-track' charitable work, such as setting up the Hamilton Foundation, championing diversity and equality in motorsport, supporting disadvantaged children and various other philanthropic endeavours, Smith didn't seem to care.
'All well and good, but he's got the money to do all that. He's not out there working, like me! I'm getting people to where they need to be, getting things done! I'm gutted, mate. It should have been me!'
We further explained that Hamilton was only able to do all this because of his and his family's hard work and sacrifice from a very young age, which enabled him to climb the ladder of motorsport, against all odds and against the tide of a racially adverse climate within the industry.
If someone works hard, why should they not reap the benefits later, if they are fortunate enough to be in that position and given that opportunity?
'Well, he's still a knob..' Smith told us and drove off.