Hamilton “honoured” to receive Brazilian honorary citizen offer

Seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton is set to become an honorary citizen of Brazil with the proposal set to be voted on by the country’s lower parliament.
Hamilton “honoured” to receive Brazilian honorary citizen offer

Hamilton has had a close association with Brazil throughout his illustrious F1 career, winning his first title in Brazil in 2008, while his helmet has tended to be a yellow colour scheme, in tribute to childhood hero and Brazilian three-time F1 champion, Ayrton Senna.

The proposal to make Hamilton an honorary citizen was put forward by congressman Andre Figueiredo after the Mercedes driver waved the Brazilian flag from his cockpit following his win at the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

In response, the local spectators chanted his name along with Senna’s.

Hamilton enjoyed one of the best weekends of his F1 career at Interlagos, bouncing back from a disqualification due to a technical infringement in qualifying to win the grand prix ahead of title rival Max Verstappen.

Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 celebrates carrying the Brazilian flag at the end of the
Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 celebrates carrying…

A vote has yet to take place by the lower house of the Brazilian parliament, but presidential candidate and member of Figueiredo’s PDT party Ciro Gomes has expressed his support recently on social media. 

“Hamilton, you already live in our hearts," he wrote. "With the honorary citizenship, you will be even closer to us."

Hamilton then replied on his own social media account: “I’d be honoured", shortly after tweeting out the Brazil flag with 84 emojis.

Hamilton: ‘I'm waiting for my Brazilian passport’

Hamilton has always maintained a close affiliation with Brazil, often expressing his love for the country.

The 37-year-old has a close friendship with Brazilian footballer Neymar as well as pro surfer, Gabriel Medina.

Speaking at the VTEX Day event in Sao Paulo - an event focused on business and digital transformation - Hamilton admitted that he wanted to spend more time in Brazil.

Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc
Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc

"I want to spend more time here in Brazil...It is such a beautiful culture. I’ve only been to Rio and Sao Paulo, but I want to come back for Christmas, New Year or something," Hamilton said as quoted by Reuters.

"[Brazilian footballer] Neymar invites me every year, and [Brazilian pro surfer] Gabriel [Medina] invites me every year, but I never had the chance...I’m waiting for my Brazilian passport."

Hamilton's love of Senna and Brazil

Hamilton has repeatedly admitted that Senna has had a big influence on his racing career and the way he drives.

Particularly in his McLaren days, Hamilton was renowned for his Senna-like aggression and blistering speed, combined with his incredible wet weather skills - all traits the great Brazilian had himself.

Hamilton “honoured” to receive Brazilian honorary citizen offer

“For me, Ayrton is always in his own light, and he’s always on his own unique level that as a driver you just aspire to emulate or be like,” Hamilton said in 2019.

“I grew up watching videos. He’s the most iconic driver. He was an iconic individual, a real leader and a master of his craft. He was the driver that inspired me as a kid. Still, a hero today, and will always be.

“[It was] what he stood for and what he stood up against and what he was able to do in a car that I loved to see.”

Hamilton has had mixed fortunes at Interlagos - which currently hosts Brazil's F1 grand prix.

He lost the title in his rookie year to Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 but a year later, he claimed his first championship on the final lap at Felipe Massa's expense.

In 2012, Hamilton retired at Interlagos while battling for the win in his final race for McLaren.

It took Hamilton until 2016 to win in Brazil for the first time, before winning in 2018 and 2021.

The podium (L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing, second; Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1, race winner;
The podium (L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing, second; Lewis…

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