Brazil: F1’s Lewis Hamilton Receives Honorary Brazilian Citizenship
Published: 7 November 2022
British Formula 1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton became an honorary citizen of Brazil on Monday for winning the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in 2021.
On that occasion he wore a helmet honoring Brazilian Ayrton Senna and, at the end of the race, he repeated his colleague’s gesture of making a lap of consecration with the Brazilian flag.
“It’s honestly the greatest honor for me to be here receiving and accepting the citizenship. I really do feel like I’m one of you finally, so thank you,” Hamilton said in his speech to a floor packed with fans and lawmakers.
The seven-time world champion dedicated the honor to Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna, who died in 1994, as well as to his relatives, friends and fans. The homage was proposed at the end of last year by congressman Andre Figueiredo and was passed by the lower house in June of this year.
“Having Lewis Hamilton among Brazilian citizens fills this house and the country with pride,” said Lower House Speaker Arthur Lira.
Hamilton, who was knighted by his own country, also said in his speech that as a Black man in the sport there’s still a lot of progress to be made.
“But I’m so committed to push for change, push for diversity,” he said. “I’m so inspired when I come to Brazil because I see so many people fighting for the same thing.”