Lewis Hamilton was honored by the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Friday afternoon, one year after suffering racist abuse from spectators at the track.
In the wake of his title success in 2008, Hamilton was presented with a plaque that will be placed in the special Champions' Avenue – joining other names including Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet.
Circuit boss 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 motorsport. Keep like this for us. We need people like you. Today your name is written on a permanent page in Champions' Avenue."
Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone added his tribute to Hamilton – saying the Briton was a worthy World Champion.
"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 motorsport, 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."
Hamilton appeared moved by the comments as he unveiled the plaque, which featured his signature and the words: "Thanks for your Passion and Support"
"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 recognized 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."