Lewis Hamilton says he is honored to have been granted honorary citizenship in Brazil, adding that player Neymar invites him to spend more time there every year.
Hamilton has a strong history with Brazil, where he idolizes great Formula One driver Ayrton Senna, and where he won his first world title in unusual circumstances in 2008.
After Hamilton won last year’s Brazilian GP, where he waved the Brazilian flag while supporters yelled his and Senna’s names, congressman Andre Figueiredo introduced a bill to make Lewis Hamilton an honorary citizen.
Although the measure has yet to be voted on in Brazil’s parliament, presidential candidate Ciro Gomes has shown support for Hamilton’s citizenship, writing on social media: “Hamilton, you’ve already taken up residence in our hearts.
You’ll be even closer to us now that you have honorary citizenship.
Lewis Hamilton said that he would be honored, remarked in response to Gomes.
Lewis Hamilton says that Neymar invites him every year
Hamilton’s remarks coincided with his arrival in Brazil for a keynote address at an event, with the Mercedes driver having traveled to both Kuala Lumpur and Sao Paulo since the Australian Grand Prix last weekend.
Lewis Hamilton posed with a Brazilian flag and spoke further about his passion for the country at the VTEX day event, disclosing invitations from athletic megastars.
He said that he would like to spend more time in Brazil, Hamilton remarked. It’s a lovely culture. He said that he has only visited Rio and Sao Paulo, but like to return for Christmas, New Year’s, or some other occasion.
Every year, (Brazil soccer international) Neymar and (pro surfer) Gabriel (Medina) invite me, but he has never had the chance.
Hamilton and Neymar, the PSG and Brazil player, have been pals for a long time, and the 37-year-old is also a developing surfer who has spent time with three-time world champion Medina.
The love connection between Hamilton and Brazil is explained.
Hamilton desired to be like only one idol since he was a child. Not Nigel Mansell or Damon Hill, but Ayrton Senna, the powerful and quick Brazilian driver who won three Formula One championships in the late 1980s and 1990s.
His sad death in a crash at Imola deprived the sport of one of its greatest ever drivers and Brazil of a national hero, and a grieving Hamilton – who was nine at the time – came to love his idol even more.
Lewis Hamilton sported a yellow helmet during his youth and much of his F1 career as a tribute to Senna, while the Englishman was always after the Brazilian’s records.
After matching Senna’s pole position of 65 in 2017, Hamilton’s family presented him with one of Senna’s race helmets.
Hamilton cites Senna as the greatest motivation on his path to becoming F1’s most successful driver, and he has pleasant recollections of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
While Hamilton did not win his first race at Sao Paulo’s Interlagos until 2016, he did win his first championship there in 2008, infamously overtaking a fading Timo Glock on the penultimate lap and at the last corner.
His two triumphs at the circuit were in 2018 and 2021, when he stormed through the field in both the Sprint and the race, cutting Max Verstappen’s championship lead in half.
Following that, he was covered in the Brazilian flag from his cockpit to the podium.