After receiving the honor, Hamilton expressed his feelings and praised Brazilian culture
- Last updated: June 10, 2022 at 10:09 IST
Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton was awarded the honorary citizenship of Brazil after a bill passed by the Brazilian Congress in the lower house of parliament on Thursday.
The move was first proposed by Congressman Andre Figueiredo in November 2021 after Hamilton won the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos. To celebrate with local fans, the Mercedes driver carried a green and yellow flag during the victory lap and onto the podium.
The crowd chanted his name along with that of the late triple world champion Ayrton Senna, the national hero and Sao Paulo native who died in Imola in 1994.
Hamilton, who had already been knighted from Britain, was in Sao Paulo to deliver a keynote speech at an event focused on business and digital transformation. Other keynote speakers were former US President Barack Obama, British businessman Richard Branson and former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
After receiving the honor, Hamilton expressed his feelings and praised Brazilian culture.
“I want to spend more time here in Brazil…it’s a beautiful culture. I’ve only been to Rio and Sao Paulo, but I want to come back for Christmas or New Years or something,” Hamilton said.
“(Brazilian international soccer player) Neymar calls me every year, (professional surfer) Gabriel (Medina) calls me every year, but I’ve never had the chance… I’m waiting for my Brazilian passport.”
The 37-year-old even took to Instagram and posted pictures of himself with the Brazilian flag.
“Speechless. Today I was awarded honorary citizenship of one of my favorite places in the world. I really don’t have the words at the moment. Thank you Brasil, I love you, I can’t wait to see you again,” wrote Hamilton.
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 the weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the eighth race on the calendar.
(with agency input)
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