"An iconic leader, an inspiration and a reassuring presence."
The words of Lewis Hamilton in paying tribute to the longest-serving monarch in British history after the Queen passed away on Thursday, September 8. She was 96.
The Mercedes driver met Her Majesty on a number of occasions and was awarded a knighthood in the 2021 New Year's Honours list after equalling Michael Schumacher's haul of seven F1 titles.
Sharing his thoughts on social media, Hamilton said: "How do you find the words to describe the loss of Her Majesty the Queen?
"She was truly an iconic leader, an inspiration and a reassuring presence for most, if not all, of our lives.
"Since the sad news yesterday, I’ve been reflecting on her incredible life.
"She was a symbol of hope for so many and she served her country with dignity, dedication and kindness.
"She was truly like no other and I’m grateful to have lived during her time. Her legacy will be long-lasting and her passing deeply felt.
"I had the incredible honour of being able to spend time with her. It is something I’ll never forget.
"We talked about our shared love of dogs and she was incredibly generous with her time.
"I know the whole nation and many others around the world will be mourning her loss and my thoughts and prayers are with her family and all those close to her, who have lost a loved one. Rest in Peace."
F1 will observe a minute's silence prior to the start of first practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, while McLaren has confirmed it will run a tribute on its cars across the weekend.
It is expected other teams will take similar action, while it is understood a further minute's silence may be conducted ahead of Sunday's race.