Hamilton Calls India a Poor Country, Questions F1’s Venue Polic

File image of Lewis Hamilton

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.

During the interview, Hamilton spoke about the expansion to countries that did not necessarily have a huge history of racing behind them, and whether he personally enjoyed the experience of racing in such places.

Hamilton, who drives for Mercedes AMG Petronas, also said that countries like England, Germany and Italy need to have more than just one races because there is genuine enthusiasm for F1 here.

"I've been to Vietnam before and it is lovely".

Hamilton made this statement about India that while the country was in such a poor state, he felt conflicted as he got ready to enter in the attractive race track at Uttar Pradesh.

Lewis Hamilton, current Formula One Grand Prix World champion, in a recent statement questioned India's racing tradition.

"On the racing side, I don't know how important it is to go to new countries as such", Hamilton told BBC Sport. The future of the British Grand Prix beyond 2019 is now uncertain as Silverstone - which been a regular fixture on the calendar since 1987 and hosted Formula 1's first race in 1950 - activated a break clause in its contract. "Cool track, cool weekend but poor audience".

"The Vietnamese Grand Prix is a realisation of that ambition".

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Those comments were picked up in various places, with several Indian media outlets criticising Hamilton for his comments about the country, while it also gained traction on social media.

The post reads: "Hi everyone".

"I noticed some people are upset with my comment on India", he tweeted on Thursday.

Hamilton later clarified his statement on his Instagram page, saying: "India is one of the most handsome places in the world". The culture there is incredible.

"I have visited and always had an fantastic time". My reference was that a Grand Prix there felt unusual to drive past homeless people and then arrive in an huge area where money was not an issue.

"They spent hundreds of millions on a track that was now never used and that money could have been spent on schools or homes. However, I have met some incredible Indian fans".

The Indian GP lasted three seasons, between 2011 and 2013. The venue was eventually scrapped, primarily because of tax-related disputes between FIA and the state government. Races in Turkey and South Korea also fell off the calendar in 2012 and 2014 respectively.


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