Formula One champions Lewis Hamilton clarifies 'poor' India comments

Lewis Hamilton Mexican GP 2018

Lewis Hamilton Mexican GP 2018

Fans also pointed out that India's fast-growing economy is now the world's sixth largest.

Speaking ahead of the Brazil weekend - a race under threat and which could well make way for Vietnam, yet genuinely offers "great overtaking possibilities", "high speeds" and "great racing" as well as being "exciting" and "demanding" - Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was loathe to see the calendar expand to as many as 25 races, hinting that if this were the case he wouldn't be interested.

In a subsequent post on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, Hamilton wrote: "Hey everyone".

The 33-year-old Briton took to social media on Thursday (Nov 15), saying he had noticed some people had been upset by his comments.

"I've been to Vietnam before and it is handsome", five-time world champion Hamilton told the BBC. The culture there is incredible.

But his comments did not go down well with Indian fans, who reminded Hamilton that the popularity of the sport is huge in the country. I have visited and always had an awesome time however whilst it is the fasted [sic] growing economy it also has a lot of poverty. That money could have been spent on schools or homes for those in need.

He also drew attention to the fact that there were very few audience, either because it was too expensive or there was no interest.

"It felt unusual to drive past homeless people then arrive in a huge arena where money was not an issue".

Hamilton is two world title successes short of equalling Michael Schumacher's all-time record of seven, and he added: "I feel I have still got more years, more days ahead if I am lucky, and there are still many mountains to climb".

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said Hamilton's earlier words and meaning had been "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".

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

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.

Indian Grand Prix was staged from 2011 to 2013 with Sebastian Vettel winning all three races for Red Bull.

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