Tony Fernandes poses with his CBE medal Team Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes has been awarded his Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in London by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Malaysian business tycoon received his award for “services to promote commercial and educational links” between the United Kingdom and his homeland.

Before he entered motorsport – first as a sponsor, then a team owner – Fernandes took over and revitalised Malaysia’s struggling government-owned airline, rebranding it to the award-winning low-cost AirAsia.

Speaking before his visit to Buckingham Palace, Fernandes said: “I am extremely humbled to have received this award today.

“I would like to thank Her Majesty The Queen for bestowing such an honour upon me. More than a personal honour, it will serve as a catalyst to further enhance relations between the UK and Malaysia, particularly in the areas of business, culture and education.

“I receive this award today not on my behalf, but on behalf of all the incredible people I work with, wherever they may be around the world. It is their dedication, passion, enthusiasm and hard work that drives me on every single day and it is also my great honour to have the privilege of working with them.”

The award is the second major international government honour bestowed upon Fernandes, who last year was awarded France’s Legion d’Honneur for his services to the aviation industry.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.