Lewis Hamilton responds after criticism over ‘poor’ India comment

India was such a poor place F1 star Lewis Hamilton questions Grand Prix venues

Speaking to the BBC earlier this week, the Mercedes star offered his thoughts on new races being added to the F1 calendar - including a Vietnamese Grand Prix from 2020 - as well as his experience of racing in India in the past.

"On the racing side, I don't know how important it is to go to new countries as such".

The historic announcement of Vietnam hosting its first ever Formula One Grand Prix in 2020 came as a welcome one to the entirety of Southeast Asia, but perhaps certain top drivers in the industry don't quite get the hype behind it.

Criticism of Hamilton began after he said he would prefer racing venues with "real racing history", such as England, Germany, Italy and the USA, after Vietnamese capital Hanoi was recently announced in the F1 calendar for 2020.

"If it was my business, I would be trying to do more events in those countries".

"I've been to Vietnam before and it is lovely", the 33-year-old told BBC Sport.

The current champion of the Formula One Grand Prix feels India has no racing tradition.


Unfortunately, though he doesn't mention the wretched term, the Briton appears to agree with Liberty's desire for events in "destination cities".

More news: Raj scores fifty as India post facile win over Pakistan

Mercedes could face a decision whether to saddle Lewis Hamilton with engine penalties or run with a damaged power unit at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after he won the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend, despite coming close to retiring. Some pointed out its status as the fastest growing economy in the world, prompting Hamilton to post a response to Instagram on Thursday.

In a clarification on Twitter, the Mercedes driver wrote, "I noticed some people are upset with my comment on India".

"I've been to Vietnam before and it is attractive", five-time world champion Hamilton told the BBC. "They spent hundreds of millions on that track that is now never used".

"My reference was that a grand prix there felt unusual to drive past homeless people, then arrive in a huge arena where money was not an issue. That money could have been spent on schools or homes for those in need", he said.

"When we did have the race, nobody came because it was too expensive most likely or (there was) no interest. However I have met some wonderful India fans".

Also Read - Formula One back in India?

India hosted three races between 2011-2013, but the race was dropped in 2014 after a tax dispute, and following complaints of bureaucratic red-tape faced by competing teams.

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