The British Lewis Hamiltonseven-time champion of the Formula 1, received honorary Brazilian citizenship in the Congress of that country, in Brasilia. In front of hundreds of crazed fans, in the preview of the San Paolo Grand Prixhe clarified to whom he thought at that moment: “I want to dedicate this honor to my hero Ayrton Senna ‘.
Lawmaker Andre Figueiredo first suggested granting British citizenship in November last year, after Hamilton had won a third time at Interlagos. On that occasion the pilot he carried a Brazilian flag on his party ride and on the podium to celebrate with local fans.
“It is a great honor to receive this title. Now I can finally say that I am one of youan excited Hamilton said during the ceremony, in which he wore a blue dress and a yellow and green collar with Brazilian insignia. “I love Brazil, I have always loved Brazil”, he confessed.
Hamilton has many fans in Brazil due to his F1 victories and his admiration for Senna, a three-time champion of the category who died in an accident in 1994.
The Mercedes driver explained that when he saw a Senna race, at the age of 5, he knew he wanted to become world champion. “Through his eyes, I learned the passion of the Brazilians,” Hamilton said of the late colleague.
In his speech, Hamilton also touched on the question of racial equality and assured that he was “committed” to the inclusion of blacks in his sport.
“As a black man in a sport that still has a lot of progress to make, I am committed to making this change. It inspires me when I come to Brazil and see such a diverse audience. We must unite, be positive in our goals, never take no for an answer, never give up“, he has declared.
House Speaker Arthur Lira said Hamilton “is a hero to all Brazilians” and a “British by birth, but Brazilian at heart”.
And he added: “Role models, Senna and Hamilton assure us that any Brazilian can overcome challenges and win on the track and in life. I hope you come back as many times as you want to this country, which is yours from now on.” . ”.
Hamilton, 37, has struggled with his Mercedes this season and he hasn’t won a race this year. He is fifth in the drivers’ championship with two tests to go and hasn’t finished that low in 11 years. Will he be able to take his first win of 2022 at Interlagos?
Nelson Piquet’s racist attack
Lewis Hamilton suffered a racist and homophobic attack last year Nelson Picketanother of the historic Brazilian Formula 1 champions.
In a video interview given to motor sports.com In October 2021 Piquet recalled the accident he faced in July 2021 in the first lap of the British GP against Hamilton and the Dutchman Max Verstappenwhich ended with the abandonment of the Red Bull driver, whose partner, Kelly, is the daughter of Piquet.
“The Bold (Lewis Hamilton) put the car in and left it because he had no way of overtaking two cars on that corner. He played dirty. His luck was that only the other one (Verstappen) got screwed, “Piquet said.
Those sentences were condemned by the International Automobile Federation and Formula 1. “Discriminatory or racist statements they are unacceptable in any form and have no place in society“, the category reacted in a statement.
“Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect,” he added. “His tireless efforts to improve diversity and inclusion are a lesson for many and a commitment on the part of F1.”
Hamilton’s refusal of Piquet’s attack was forceful. “They are more than words. Those archaic attitudes must change and have no place in our sport, “tweeted the Brit.
“I have been surrounded by such behavior and have been a goal all my life. There was time to learn. Now is the time to act,” added the Mercedes driver.
Piquet apologized to Hamilton, saying there was “no malicious intent” and no offense, but a second excerpt from the video left little doubt that Piquet was referring to Hamilton as a “little black man” and has added a homophobic insult.
After that second excerpt was published, Piquet told Motorsport magazine the outrage was irrelevant. “Nothing I said was wrong,” he said. “I don’t really care.”
faithful defender of Jair Bolsonaro, Piquet came to proclaim “Lula to the cemetery, son of a bitch …”, referring to the newly elected president of Brazil, for whom a judicial investigation has been opened. It is Nelson Piquet himself who henceforth shares nationality with Lewis Hamilton.