Recently, five time world champion, Lewis Hamilton was asked about the FIA’s new policy of taking F1 to new venues and countries each year. He was asked about the Vietnam organizers multi-year deal with the FIA to host the race on the streets of Hanoi. Hamilton then responded by saying he would love to see more countries with ‘genuine racing tradition’ to be added to the F1 calendar. He said, “On the racing side, I don’t know how important it is to go to new countries as such.”
He added: “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.”
Mercedes has also commented on this issue and said that, “ the comment has been taken grossly out of context”.
Since these comments yesterday, the world champion has received a lot of flake and rebuttals on various social media platforms. Some of them are below.
@LewisHamilton I think your general knowledge is very poor, you said India is a poor country, get ur figures right and then comment. See for yourself Mr. Lewis Hamilton. https://t.co/Y1I01SKChdhttps://t.co/nN1UIlK6CU pic.twitter.com/XHswJgIE6K
— Durgesh shukla (@durgeshshukla32) November 14, 2018
#LewisHamilton Shame on you !!!!. Looted other country wealth and calling us poor country. Check the diff between ur gdp and ours. ours is earned after u robbed us not like urs. Time will come you will come to india begging again @LewisHamilton
— Sachin Sharma (@sachinaryans) November 14, 2018
No Lewis Hamilton, you are wrong. F1 needs to go to new countries to popularize the sport. I think it’s better you stick to racing and let the sponsors, marketing and branding teams for Formula 1 handle the race circuits. FYI F1 is hugely popular in India. #F1 @F1
— Prem Mohanty (@philipbkk) November 14, 2018
— Shubham Salunke 🇮🇳 (@shubhamksalunke) November 15, 2018
Lewis Hamilton himself has tweeted too about the issue saying, “I noticed some people are upset with my comment on India. My reference was that a grand prix there felt strange to drive past homeless people, then arrive in a huge arena 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. When we did have the race nobody came because it was too expensive or there was no interest.”
Lewis Hamilton was also sorry for his ‘poor India’ comments on Instagram and posted the following in his Instagram stories.
The Indian GP lasted three years from 2011 to 2013. The star also had said that the Turkish GP was cool and the track was good but there was a genuine lack of spectators.
What do you think about this whole controversy? Do you think the hate on Lewis Hamilton is justified? Do you think his comments were in bad taste? Let us know in the comments below.