Why is F1 Brazilian GP considered Lewis Hamilton’s home race?
Lewis Hamilton has always been a huge fan of the country and its people, having won his first world championship here in 2008. Despite having gone on to win six more in his career, the British driver has nothing but admiration for the country and its people.
Besides, the 38-year-old driver’s admiration for local hero Ayrton Senna is known to all. The Mercedes driver has always been a fan of the former world champion, and he wore the same yellow helmet as the three-time world champion in the early years of his career.
Moreover, the seven-time world champion stunned fans after he whizzed through the twisty track at Interlagos in 2021, showcasing his dominance over the rest of the field.
Hamilton was then seen thanking his Brazilian fans after taking victory in the race and celebrating with the Brazilian flag on his shoulders. His gesture won the hearts of the entire country and is likely another key factor as to why he was granted the honour.
“I’m so grateful for the incredible support”: Lewis Hamilton
In the post-race interview, Lewis Hamilton said, “I’m so grateful for the incredible support I’ve had this weekend. I’ve not had it since, like Silverstone was when I had my own… a good group of support, but since then it’s been really difficult. So to hear these throughout the weekend has been really humbling. I’ve been saying ‘Obrigado, Brazil’. I’m so, so grateful, as I said. What a race.”
Congressman Andre Figueiredo first made the suggestion in November 2021, after Lewis Hamilton won the Brazilian GP for the third time at Interlagos.
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During the ceremony, Lower House Speaker Arthur Lira said Lewis Hamilton “is a hero for all Brazilians” and “a Briton by birth and a Brazilian by heart.” “Brazilian role models like Senna and Hamilton make us sure that every Brazilian can overcome challenges and win the races in life,” Lira said. “I hope you return many times to this country that is also your country now.”
An emotional Lewis Hamilton, wearing a blue suit and a yellow and green necklace with a Brazilian badge during the ceremony, 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.”
As Formula 1 moves to the carnival city of São Paolo, the Mercedes driver sits third in the driver’s championship, 20 points behind second-placed Sergio Pérez. Despite no wins this season, Hamilton has shown incredible consistency, and is one of the main reasons why Mercedes have been able to keep Ferrari at bay (at least for now). Given the unpredictable nature at Interlagos and Hamilton’s mastery in rain, anything is possible.
Meanwhile, both Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing have already sealed the driver’s and constructor’s championships.