Lewis Hamilton hails “greatest honour” as he’s officially made honorary citizen of Brazil

Lewis Hamilton received a knighthood earlier late last year and now he received a prestigious honour from the country of Brazil ahead of the Sao Paulo GP this Sunday

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Lewis Hamilton was overjoyed as he became an honorary citizen of Brazil. Ahead of F1’s penultimate race of the season in Sao Paulo, the Mercedes driver received the prestigious honour, including a corresponding medal, at Brazil’s Congress chamber in Brasilia in front of hundreds of ecstatic fans.

Beaming with pride, Hamilton expressed his happiness at having such a special bestowed upon him. “I’d like to say a big, big thank you to everyone here at the house, for all those who’ve moved mountains to make this day possible. It is honestly the greatest honour for me to be here receiving and accepting this citizenship. I really do feel like now I’m one of you, finally,” said Hamilton, to thunderous applause.

“When I arrived here in 2007 [Hamilton’s first F1 season], the love that’s grown, the experiences we’ve had and, particularly 2021, knowing you guys were cheering me on the way, it was one of the most special moments of my entire life.” During his speech Hamilton noted the influence of his hero and three-time F1 world champion Ayrton Senna as he grew up dreaming of racing in F1 and reaching his records.

In 2017, the seven-time world champion received a special gift when the Senna family gave him a helmet of his idol after Hamilton equalled his tally of 65 pole positions. “I can’t wait for us to continue to strive ahead. I really want to dedicate today, this honour, to Ayrton Senna – to Ayrton’s family, to his friends and to his fans,” he continued.

Lewis Hamilton was awarded the Honorary Brazilian Citizenship yesterday

he ceremony, the president of the Chamber of Deputies Arthur Lira described Hamilton as “a Briton by birth and a Brazilian by heart” and called him “a hero for all Brazilians”. He added: “Brazilian role models like Senna and Hamilton make us sure that every Brazilian can overcome challenges and win the races in life. I hope you return many times to this country that is also your country now.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff hailed a “special moment” for Hamilton, commenting: “To be recognised and celebrated by a country that calls Ayrton Senna one of their own is a true measure of Lewis’ incredible achievements, both on the asphalt of Interlagos and as an advocate for diversity in our sport.

“From each member of the team, Lewis, we are incredibly proud of you. ‘Obrigado’ for what we have achieved together so far – and we are excited by what is still to come!” With just two races left in the season, Hamilton has yet to taste victory. But with the Sao Paulo GP this weekend, it would be a fitting race for the motorsport legend to seal his first win of 2022.

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