Lewis Hamilton has become an honorary citizen of Brazil following a ceremony in Brasilia on Monday.
The seven-time Formula One world champion traces his desire for motor racing back to watching Brazilian great Ayrton Senna during his youth.
He was first linked with becoming a citizen of Brazil after winning last year’s grand prix at Interlagos, his third victory at the venue where he also captured his first Drivers’ title in 2008, following his victory the Englishman completed an additional lap while holding the Brazil flag – mimicking Senna at his home race in 1991.
It was that gesture which helped see Hamilton, 37, bestowed with the honour by the president of the chamber of deputies, Arthur Lira, ahead of this weekend’s race at Interlagos.
The suggestion was first made by congressman Andre Figueiredo, Hamilton having joked he was “waiting for my passport” in the wake of the offer.
Hamilton received Brazil’s legislative medal of merit and a diploma, and he made a speech thanking his fans and dedicating the honour to Senna.
Hamilton, born in Stevenage, is currently fifth in this season’s drivers’ championship and has won the Brazilian Grand Prix on three occasions.