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Lewis Hamilton named honorary citizen of Brazil after bill passed Congress

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Lewis Hamilton was made an honorary citizen of Brazil, a move Hamilton himself backed in April; He has a long affinity with the country, Ayrton Senna being his idol; watch Hamilton take part in the Azerbaijan GP, ​​live on Sky Sports F1 from Friday

Last update: 22/06/09 7:52 p.m.

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Lewis Hamilton with the Brazilian flag after winning the Brazilian GP last year

Lewis Hamilton was made an honorary citizen of Brazil on Thursday as the lower house of parliament passed a bill on the issue.

The move was proposed by Congressman Andre Figueiredo after last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, where the British driver unfurled the Brazilian flag after winning the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton himself backed the move in April, when he traveled to Sao Paulo to deliver a keynote speech at an event focused on business and digital transformation, saying he would be honored .

Hamilton's longtime hero is Ayrton Senna.

Hamilton’s longtime hero is Ayrton Senna.

The house will now hold a solemn session to issue the 37-year-old with honorary citizenship. A date has not yet been set.

Hamilton has a long-standing affinity with the country, whose legendary Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna is his idol, and he won his first world championship there in extraordinary circumstances in 2008.

Hamilton, knighted by his own country, had his name sung along with that of local hero Senna as he carried the Brazilian flag to the podium last year.

This is the moment Sir Lewis Hamilton was knighted by the Prince of Wales for his services to motorsport.  He joins Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jack Brabham as the fourth F1 driver to be knighted.

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This is the moment Sir Lewis Hamilton was knighted by the Prince of Wales for his services to motorsport. He joins Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jack Brabham as the fourth F1 driver to be knighted.

This is the moment Sir Lewis Hamilton was knighted by the Prince of Wales for his services to motorsport. He joins Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jack Brabham as the fourth F1 driver to be knighted.

Republican Party Congressman Jhonatan de Jesus said in a statement that Hamilton had a “deep and highly emotional” relationship with Brazil and the tribute was well deserved.

“His gestures add to his indisputable sporting merit. His public positions in favor of relevant issues such as the environment, animal rights, black people, women and human rights must also be remembered and underlined”, a said Jesus.

The Congressional vote was largely symbolic as the debate lasted about 10 minutes. Some members of Congress, however, greeted the bill with criticism.

“I recognize the achievements of Lewis Hamilton…but this bill clearly shows that we are not addressing Brazil’s structural problems first,” said New Party’s Tiago Mitraud.

Hamilton’s affiliation with Brazil explained

From an early age, Hamilton had only one idol he aspired to be like. Not Nigel Mansell, not Damon Hill, but Ayrton Senna – the influential, fast-paced Brazilian driver who won three F1 titles in the late 80s and 90s.

His tragic passing after a crash at Imola robbed the sport of one of its best drivers and robbed Brazil of a national hero, and a devastated Hamilton – who was nine at the time – only shattered. attach more to his idol.

Hamilton with Senna's helmet after matching his pole tally

Hamilton with Senna’s helmet after matching his pole tally

Throughout his junior career and most of his F1 career, Hamilton wore a yellow helmet as a tribute to Senna as it was the Brazilian’s records that the Englishman always had in his sights.

After equaling Senna’s total of 65 poles in 2017, an emotional Hamilton was given one of Senna’s racing helmets by his family.

Senna was Hamilton’s biggest inspiration on his rise to become F1’s most successful driver, while he also has many fond memories of the Brazilian GP.

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While Hamilton only won his first victory at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo in 2016, he won his first title there in 2008, and infamously on the last lap and in the final corner after passing a Timo Glock which was slowing down.

His other victories on the circuit came in 2018 and 2021, when he charged beautifully through the field in the Sprint and the Race, earning a win that closed Max Verstappen’s title lead.

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