Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is receiving a lot of backlash on social media for his recent comments on India and the grand prix races hosted in the country between 2011-2013.
In a recent interview, Hamilton called India “a poor place” and even went on to say that he felt conflicted when he came to race in the Indian Grand Prix.
“I’ve been to Vietnam before and it is beautiful. I’ve been to India before to a race which was strange because India was such a poor place yet we had this massive, beautiful grand prix track made in the middle of nowhere. I felt very conflicted when I went to that grand prix,” Hamilton told BBC Sport.
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton says he felt conflicted racing in India
The Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida hosted the F1 race for three seasons from 2011-2013 before being taken off the calendar due to tax-related issues with the state government.
Hamilton’s comments however, have drawn the ire of F1 fans from India, who feel the popularity of the sport is immense in the country.
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No Lewis Hamilton, you are wrong. F1 needs to go to new countries to popularize the sport. I think it’s better you stick to racing and let the sponsors, marketing and branding teams for Formula 1 handle the race circuits. FYI F1 is hugely popular in India. #F1 @F1
Prem Mohanty (@philipbkk) November 14, 2018
Going viral: Lewis Hamilton’s comments about India being poor & feeling conflicted while racing in the Indian GP.
Kunal Shah (@kunalashah) November 14, 2018
Lewis Hamilton….. My bad
You are a role model sir
Poor is a relative term. Rich is a subjective term. Please brush up your GEN for us fans. Thank you
shampoo v (@SyamprasadV) November 14, 2018
He told poor country like India.
Do u think India is poor ?
Varun (@abbupandit22) November 14, 2018
LonerSoul (@AvadaKedavra_SA) November 14, 2018
Never really liked you even before your ridiculous statement and now I like you even less. And I’m sure I’m not the only one .You seem to have no issues coming to India for your promotions and yet you don’t wanna race here. Don’t ever come back. We don’t wanna see your face.
Cryo (@Cryo68268554) November 14, 2018
@LewisHamilton I think your general knowledge is very poor, you said India is a poor country, get ur figures right and then comment. See for yourself Mr. Lewis Hamilton. https://t.co/Y1I01SKChdhttps://t.co/nN1UIlK6CU pic.twitter.com/XHswJgIE6K
Durgesh shukla (@durgeshshukla32) November 14, 2018
#LewisHamilton Shame on you !!!!. Looted other country wealth and calling us poor country. Check the diff between ur gdp and ours. ours is earned after u robbed us not like urs. Time will come you will come to india begging again @LewisHamilton
Sachin Sharma (@sachinaryans) November 14, 2018
Hamilton, who recently bagged his fifth driver’s title in Mexico, also questioned the need for F1 to go to newer countries when the fan following in places like England, Germany and Italy is considerably more.
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Vietnam is the latest country which has been added in the F1 calendar with its capital city, Hanoi, bagging hosting rights of a street race from 2020 onwards.
“On the racing side, I don’t know how important it is to go to new countries as such. If you had the Silverstone Grand Prix and a London Grand Prix, it would be pretty cool,” Hamilton said.
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Not just India, but the British driver even criticised the Turkish Grand Prix, which hosted 7 races from 2005-2011 but was struck off the calendar due to a lack of agreement on the annual cost.
“We had a grand prix in Turkey and hardly anyone came. Cool track, cool weekend but poor audience,” Hamilton said.
The Mercedes racer feels that countries where people have more knowledge about F1 should be looking to host more than one race in a year.
“We’ve got a lot of real racing history in England, Germany, Italy and now in the States it is starting to grow. But you only have one event per year in those places. If it was my business, I’d be trying to do more events in those countries.
“If you have the German Grand Prix and you’ve got a Grand Prix in Berlin, I think connecting to cities where a lot of people are is probably a good thing, not necessarily going to countries where they don’t know so much about Formula 1,” Hamilton said.
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