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Lewis Hamilton issues clarification regarding comments made about India

Five-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton had earlier said that he felt conflicted while racing in India.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: November 16, 2018 12:15 IST
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Lewis Hamilton said that he loved his time in India but a race there made little sense because of very less interest

Lewis Hamilton cleared the air regarding his comments related to India via social media site Twitter on Thursday.

The five-time world champion had earlier referred to India as a poor place in an interview to BBC and said that he felt conflicted while racing there.

"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.

His comments drew some rage and the Briton was criticised for his comments on social media. 

Following that, the 33-year-old took to the micro-blogging site Twitter to reach out to his fans and others to let people know what he actually meant.

"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," Hamilton tweeted.

"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 Indian fans," he added.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff defended Hamilton and said that his words spun out of context.

"He spoke with empathy about India and the painful contrast between wealth and poverty that we face while travelling the globe as sporting ambassadors," Wolf said in a statement issued by Mercedes.

"He did not criticise the nation and his words were those of a thoughtful and considered champion," it added.

India hosted three Grand Prix races at the Buddh International circuit from 2011-13 and all three were won by Sebastian Vettel, then champion with Red Bull.

The race was dropped from the calender since 2014 due to a number of factors, which included a tax dispute and bureaucratic hurdles faced by teams.

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