Amid Row Over “Poor” India Remark, Defiant Lewis Hamilton Offers Advice

“First off, India is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The culture there is incredible. I have visited and always had an amazing time however whilst it is the fasted [sic] growing economy it also has a lot of poverty.

“My reference was that a Grand Prix there felt strange to drive past homeless people and then arrive in a huge arena where money was not an issue. They spent hundreds of millions on that track that is now never used. That money could have been spent on schools or homes for those in need. When we did have the race, nobody came because it was too expensive most likely or no interest. However I have met some amazing India fans.”


Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said it was unbelievable how Hamilton’s comments had been misconstrued.

“It is once again unbelievable to me how the words and the meaning of Lewis get spun out of context in this way,” said Wolff in a statement.

“He spoke with empathy about India and the painful contrast between wealth and poverty that we face while travelling the globe as sporting ambassadors. He did not criticise the nation and his words were those of a thoughtful and considered champion.

“The only fault here lies with the people who have twisted his words to mean something else entirely.”

Earlier this week, the 33-year-old Briton had told BBC, “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.”

The Indian GP lasted three seasons from 2011 to 2013.

Since 2004, races in Bahrain, China, Turkey, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, South Korea, Russia and Azerbaijan have been added to the calendar.

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