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Damon gets his medal

AS we suggested in October, Damon Hill has been honored by the British in the New Year Honors list, being granted the status of an Officer in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), one of the country's orders of chivalry.

Such awards are not uncommon in motor racing with similar honors dating back to 1948 when pre-war ace George Eyston was appointed an OBE. Since then Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill and Nigel Mansell have all been awarded OBEs. Alain Prost was the recipient of a rare OBE to a foreigner in 1994. Cosworth founder Keith Duckworth was awarded an OBE in 1984.

Others such as John Surtees and John Watson have been appointed to Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) - the lowest rank in the order. An MBE was also bestowed on Eric Broadley, the founder of Lola, multiple Le Mans 24 Hours winner Derek Bell and the BBC's F1 commentator Murray Walker.

Both Frank Williams and March's Robin Herd have been awarded the more senior title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), but motor racing has still had only one player elevated to knighthood, Australian Jack Brabham - who became Sir Jack in 1979.

Current speculation in F1 suggests that Frank Williams and Jackie Stewart are in a race to become motor racing's second knight.

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