The Brazilian Congress passed a symbolic proposal on Thursday to make seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton an honorary citizen of the South American country.
Congressman Andre Figueiredo first made the proposal in November after last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, which Hamilton won at Interlagos. The Mercedes driver carried the green and yellow flag on the victory lap and on the podium to celebrate with local fans.
“Speechless. Today I got honorary citizenship for one of my favorite places in the world,” the 37-year-old said on Instagram, posting pictures of himself with the Brazilian flag. “I really don’t have the words at the moment. Thank you Brasil, I love you, I can’t wait to see you again.”
Hamilton has many fans in Brazil because of Formula 1 racing and his respect for three-time world champion and local champion Ayrton Senna, who died in an accident in Imola, Italy in 1994.
Hamilton, who lost the 2021 Drivers’ Championship to Max Verstappen in the final round of the season, is having a tough time this year. He is sixth with 50 points ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the eighth race on the calendar.