Lewis Hamilton becomes honorary citizen of Brazil ahead of F1 Brazilian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton made honorary citizen of Brazil ahead of F1 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Seven-time Formula One champion Sir Lewis Hamilton became an honorary Brazilian on Monday ahead of the F1 Brazilian Grand Prix.
In front of a loud crowd of hundreds of fans, Hamilton was granted honorary citizenship in the Brazilian Congress chamber in Brasilia. Before this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, the Brit landed in the nation for the ceremony.
Congressman Andre Figueiredo proposed the idea in November after Hamilton won the Brazilian Grand Prix for the third time at Interlagos. On his victory lap and at the podium, the driver carried a green and yellow Brazilian flag to celebrate with local fans.
“It is a great honor to get this title today. Now I can finally say I am one of you,” an emotional Hamilton said during the ceremony, wearing a blue suit and a yellow and green necklace with a Brazilian badge. “I love Brazil, I have always loved Brazil.”
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Because of his F1 abilities and respect for Brazilian three-time world champion Ayrton Senna, who died in an F1 crash in 1994, Hamilton has a large following in Brazil.
“I want to dedicate this honor to my hero Ayrton Senna,” Hamilton added.
Lower House Speaker Arthur Lira said Hamilton “is a hero for all Brazilians” and “a Briton by birth and a Brazilian by heart”.
“Brazilian role models like Senna and Hamilton make us sure that every Brazilian can overcome challenges and win the races in life,” Lira said. “I hope you return many times to this country that is also your country now.”
The 37-year-old Hamilton has struggled in his Mercedes this season and has yet to win a race. He’s fifth in the championship with two races to go. He hasn’t finished as low as fifth in 11 years.