The recipients of the Queen’s New Year Honours for 2019 have been announced, and there’s a CBE for superstar racing car designer Professor Gordon Murray.

Murray is a veteran of Formula 1, having joined the Brabham racing team in 1969 after moving to the UK from his native South Africa.

He rose to become Brabham’s technical director and was behind the 1978 BT46B ‘fan car’. The team went on to win the drivers championship in 1981 and 1983 with Nelson Piquet.

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Murray subsequently moved to McLaren in 1987 to replace John Barnard as technical director there. He was at Woking when the team took a hat-trick of constructors championships between 1988 and 1990 with Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

After being involved in 50 Grand Prix wins over two decades, Murray moved into sportscars and developed the famed McLaren F1 road car. The GTR version found success at Le Mans in 1995.

Murray set up his own company – Gordon Murray Design Limited – in 2005 which has established a worldwide reputation. His iStream manufacturing concept is intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and uses technology derived from F1.

“It is extremely humbling to receive a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours,” said Murray, 72.

“I’ve spent more than 50 years doing what I love, working with a wealth of highly-talented and creative people around the world, but primarily in the UK.

“From the competing during the heyday of Formula 1, to designing the world’s fastest supercar, I’ve loved every minute.

“I’d like to dedicate this honour to all those I’ve worked with over the years and I look forward to an exciting new future for the Gordon Murray Group.”


As happy as we are to see Murray recognised, it’s hard not to spot a glaring omission from this year’s honours.

There are knighthoods for former England cricket captain Alastair Cook and ex-England rugby union captain Bill Beaumont, OBEs for England soccer coach Gareth Southgate and 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, and an MBE for England World Cup captain Harry Kane.

But there seems no room for any recognition of Lewis Hamilton’s achievements in 2018, despite Andy Murray and Mo Farah both receiving knighthoods in last year’s honours for their own impressive sporting accomplishments.

Hamilton clinched his fifth Formula 1 world championship title this season. He is only the third man in the history of the sport to do so, making him the most successful British driver ever in F1. He also set a new record for the number of pole positions, and became the first driver to clinch more than 400 points in a single season

He was awarded an MBE after winning the first in 2008, but since then appears to have flown under the radar as far as further awards are concerned.

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The oversight did not go unnoticed on social media, with hundreds of motorsports fans critical of his absence from the honours list this year despite both his sporting success and charitable work.

Last year, Hamilton said that he would be “incredibly honoured” if he were to ever receive a knighthood from the Queen.

“I have been trying to represent England the best way I can,” he said last year. “I have missed the Queen since I had lunch with her when she invited me to the Palace.

“I have always wanted to go back, that would be the greatest honour.”

But unfortunately, it seems that won’t be happening this year. He also missed out on winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year accolade: Tour de France winner Thomas scooped the top prize with Hamilton finishing second in the voting. He previously won the award in 2014.

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