Jenson Button returned on Tuesday to his birthplace of Frome, England, where he became the first ever freeman of the hilly country town in Somerset.
The reigning world champion, and current championship leader, took a McLaren formula one car to the ceremony but joked he was confused about what the honorary title bestowed him.
“I don’t really know what I can do with it,” the 30-year-old, accompanied by his mother Simone, is quoted as saying by the Telegraph.
“But it’s pretty special nonetheless,” he added, before touring the three schools he attended in Frome and learning that a footbridge he used to play on as a child will be renamed ‘Jenson Button Bridge’.
About 2,500 Frome residents – a tenth of the town’s entire population – attended the event, where Button received a framed scroll from the mayor.
And his mother, divorced from Button’s grand prix travelling companion and father John, recalled how she came up with her son’s name in early 1980.
“It was me who looked out of the hospital window and saw a lovely car, a Jensen Interceptor, and called him after it, just changing the e to an o,” she told the Daily Express.