Lewis Hamilton clarifies India 'poor place' comments

Lewis Hamilton has clarified his comments on Indian poverty after some of his social media followers were "u...

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 2:22 PM
Updated: Nov 15, 2018 2:22 PM

Lewis Hamilton has clarified his comments on Indian poverty after some of his social media followers were "upset."

In an interview with the BBC, the five-time world champion said he felt "conflicted" attending the Indian Grand Prix, which ran on the Formula One calendar from 2011 to 2013.

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"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," he said.

"I felt very conflicted when I went to that grand prix."

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That led to some fans criticizing the British driver for his remarks, with one Twitter using writing: "My country is a bit strange as we have the mix of all cultures.

"My country is a bit strange as have the world's largest democracy. But Lewis Hamilton off all these, we are not 'poor country' as it seems to you."

Another wrote: "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."

The Buddh International Circuit hosted just three grands prix before it was removed from the F1 schedule following a tax dispute.

About 60 percent of India's nearly 1.3 billion people live on less than $3.10 a day, the World Bank's median poverty line, according to the bank. And 21 percent-- or more than 250 million people -- survive on less than $2 a day. In India, the top 1 percent of the population owns 58 per cent of the country's wealth.

"Hey everyone, I noticed some people are upset with my comment on India," Hamilton posted on his social media accounts. "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's the fastest growing economy, it also has a lot of poverty."

Hamilton said it "felt strange to drive past homeless people then arrive in a huge arena where money was not an issue."

India spent an estimated $400 million to bring Formula One to the country, building a brand new track and 120,000-seat arena in 2011.

"They spent hundreds of millions on that track that is now never used," Hamilton said.

"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."

But while there were some who criticized the 33-year-old, many others agreed with his comments.

"I knew ... Nothing wrong in there! I'm from India as well and what you said was correct," wrote one fan.

"Totally true!" wrote another. "Being from India myself I totally agree with what you've said. But for interest to flourish here, races should be conducted here. Personally a big fan."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 318894

Reported Deaths: 5561
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion43391855
Lake27599462
Allen18363299
Elkhart17474226
St. Joseph17071234
Hamilton13376169
Vanderburgh9839121
Tippecanoe880629
Porter844886
Johnson6556169
Hendricks6267158
Vigo618187
Monroe542850
Clark522877
Madison5153122
Delaware5014103
LaPorte474695
Kosciusko468540
Howard357977
Warrick329872
Floyd324978
Bartholomew323563
Wayne318074
Marshall308146
Cass302631
Grant282050
Noble261546
Hancock260355
Henry252837
Boone248754
Dubois242931
Dearborn222631
Jackson222534
Morgan215543
Knox189720
Shelby189556
Gibson189426
Clinton182121
DeKalb181632
Lawrence179748
Adams171022
Wabash168121
Miami166614
Daviess160144
Steuben150713
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Jasper147413
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Whitley140814
Ripley138515
Huntington130910
Decatur128243
Wells127930
Putnam127828
White127522
Clay126523
Randolph126121
Posey124116
Jefferson122916
Scott112320
Greene104653
Jay100713
Sullivan99216
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Jennings88714
Fulton86419
Spencer8588
Perry83721
Fountain8078
Washington7837
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Tipton58927
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Switzerland2605
Warren2542
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 382743

Reported Deaths: 6274
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin51161671
Cuyahoga37222743
Hamilton30493372
Montgomery20518236
Butler15199148
Lucas14566417
Summit13933327
Stark9193206
Warren841976
Mahoning7530300
Lake710067
Lorain6690106
Clermont593651
Delaware572537
Licking564577
Trumbull5584147
Fairfield554464
Greene538066
Clark5218101
Allen494989
Marion476759
Medina471657
Wood4598107
Miami437568
Pickaway404048
Portage358972
Columbiana357698
Tuscarawas342667
Richland328539
Wayne327394
Mercer296047
Muskingum252510
Hancock245940
Ross244559
Auglaize236435
Darke232560
Erie230268
Putnam229449
Ashtabula228354
Geauga211851
Scioto200616
Union19668
Shelby194017
Lawrence193039
Athens19134
Seneca182919
Belmont170229
Madison163119
Sandusky157729
Preble156521
Huron155519
Defiance144823
Holmes140439
Logan133517
Knox131718
Fulton128726
Jefferson128613
Crawford126817
Washington125227
Ottawa124530
Clinton109115
Williams10799
Ashland107825
Highland103718
Brown10135
Henry101323
Hardin99719
Champaign9825
Van Wert97318
Jackson96212
Fayette92717
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Guernsey89314
Coshocton85215
Perry82912
Adams80313
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Wyandot73217
Paulding66511
Hocking64516
Noble62224
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Morgan2685
Vinton2246
Harrison2193
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