Lewis Hamilton faces social media backlash after questioning Indian Grand Prix

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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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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.

Also read – Lewis Hamilton wins Brazilian Grand Prix as Mercedes take constructors’ title

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.

Also Read – I feel very humbled by the whole experience: Lewis Hamilton after 5th F1 title

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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