Circuit de Catalunya has placed a plaque in Lewis Hamilton’s honor on their Champions’ Avenue along with Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet.
Circuit director Ramon Praderas said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to show you that you are a driver always welcome to Catalunya.
“Passion means Formula 1, and you are a part of this passion for motor sport. Keep like this for us. We need people like you. Today your name is written on a permanent page in Champions’ Avenue.”
Even Bernie Ecclestone chimed in with his comments:
“It seems to me this plaque Lewis has got is not going to be one of those things that’s going to be repeated every year if he wins every year here,” said Ecclestone.
“I hope, if that’s the case, we’re going to see one for next year because up until now he’s had a terrible year through no fault of his own, and I’m sure he’s going to remedy that very, very quickly.
“The good thing about Lewis is that he hasn’t forgotten his roots. He supports go-karting, and he supports all forms of motor sport, so it’s not just one Formula 1.
“This is what we need guys to do, not to forget where they come from. Anyway, I’m very happy he’s going to get this award.”
Lewis, who is said to have been moved by the moment, said:
“Wow! It’s kind of emotional to be standing here, to be in Barcelona, to be here at Catalunya, one of my favourite circuits,” said the McLaren driver.
“To have heard the speech, and know I am welcome here is a great thing for me, and to be recognised as world champion is something very, very special to me. I will always carry with that me.
“So I want to say thank you to the people here at Catalunya for having me, and for their continued support, and thank you for Bernie’s kind words as well.
“I will continue to do the best job I can, and I hope to continue making my country and my team proud.”
You can read the full story at Autosport. Good for Lewis, he needs some cheering up as McLaren, the FIA, his father and a poor-running car have made a dismal year for him.