Race winner Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 14, 2021, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Why did Lewis Hamilton receive honorary Brazilian citizenship? Real reason explored

Lewis Hamilton is officially a Brazilian citizen, having won the hearts of the entire country with his impressive driving. The Briton has been a lifelong fan of the country and specifically of Ayrton Senna, who inspired Hamilton's racing career.

Do fundo do meu coração, Brasil, obrigado obrigado e obrigado

The seven-time world champion stunned the F1 world last year at Interlagos when the driver plowed his way through the field, taking victory in both the sprint and main race. The Mercedes driver's performance was one for the history books, with the veteran celebrating with a Brazilian flag on the podium - winning the hearts of the entire nation. The boy from Stevenage officially received the honor at the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia on Monday and said:

“I’d like to say a big, big thank you to everyone here at the house, for all those who’ve moved mountains to make this day possible. It is honestly the greatest honour for me to be here receiving and accepting this citizenship. I really do feel like now I’m one of you, finally.”

Lewis Hamilton claimed he was surprised when he heard the news of his honorary citizenship at the 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP. He said:

“[I was] surprised like everyone else yesterday when I heard about it. No one contacted me and told me we just heard about it in the news. I’ve not heard of that happening. I’m sure it does in other places, but Brazil has always been a place that I’ve loved and admired as a kid.”
“Obviously, following Ayrton [Senna], and you’re naturally drawn to the country, but through my life, just meeting more and more Brazilian resilience and knowing more about the culture and the community and it’s very, very diverse there.”

Why did Lewis Hamilton receive honorary Brazilian citizenship?

Lewis Hamilton has always been a fan of the country, having won his first world championship in Brazil in 2008. Despite having gone on to win six more in his career so far, the Briton has nothing but admiration for the country and its people.

A proud moment for @LewisHamilton

The seven-time world champ has been made an honorary citizen of Brazil


While Brazilian officials haven't highlighted the specifics of why exactly the world champion was granted honorary citizenship, here are some possible factors:


#1 Hamilton admires Aryton Senna

Lewis Hamilton's admiration for Brazilian F1 legend Ayrton Senna is perhaps one of the biggest reasons for his latest citizenship. The Mercedes driver has always been inspired by the former world champion and wore the same yellow helmet as the three-time world champion in the early years of his career.

#2 Hamilton celebrated with the Brazilian flag after winning the 2021 F1 Brazilian GP

The seven-time world champion stunned fans after he whizzed through the twisty track at Interlagos last year, showcasing his dominance over the rest of the field. The driver was then seen thanking his Brazilian fans after taking victory in the race and celebrated with the flag of Brazil behind his shoulders. His gesture won the hearts of the entire country and is likely another key factor as to why he was granted the honor. Hamilton's drive in Sao Paulo was the start of a three-race winning streak in his title fight against Max Verstappen.

#3 Hamilton is in awe of Brazilian people and culture


Lewis Hamilton claims he has always shown an affinity for the Brazilian people and their culture. The world champion claims to love the energy, music, and color the country is known for and looks forward to his time there. After receiving the honor, he said:

“There’s a lot of energy, music, colour and I’ve had over the years amazing times there. I won my first World Championship in Brazil and 14 years later, whatever it is, the epic race that I had there last year and the moment I had with the Brazilian flag, so that’s my like biggest following is in Brazil. So I’m very, very honoured and grateful and can’t wait to spend more time there.”

Having recently been awarded honorary citizenship in the country, Lewis Hamilton is likely to have an emotional race this weekend.

Edited by
Anurag C
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