Mercedes driver Hamilton calls India poor - Clarifies his stand on Twitter, Instagram

"India Was Such A Poor Place: Lewis Hamilton Questions New F1 Races

The little-used circuit has since hosted a number of domestic championship races, and used by vehicle manufacturers for track days.

Lewis Hamilton, current Formula One Grand Prix World champion, in a recent statement questioned India's racing tradition.

Five-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton Thursday clarified on why he felt "conflicted" to race in a "poor place" like India, saying the huge amount of money could have been spent on building homes and schools rather than a Formula One track. The future of the British Grand Prix beyond 2019 is now uncertain as Silverstone - which been a regular fixture on the calendar since 1987 and hosted Formula 1's first race in 1950 - activated a break clause in its contract.

Hamilton, who drives for Mercedes AMG Petronas, also said that countries like England, Germany and Italy need to have more than just one races because there is genuine enthusiasm for F1 here.

Mercedes has enjoyed strong reliability this season with Hamilton yet to face a grid drop through an engine related issue all year, whereas Valtteri Bottas has suffered only one engine related penalty at the Belgian GP. The central government at the time had exempted the sport from taxes after several teams had threatened a boycott of the inaugural race.

"I've been to Vietnam before and it is lovely", five-time world champion Hamilton told the BBC. "F1 needs to go to new countries to popularize the sport".

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"I think it's better you stick to racing and let the sponsors, marketing and branding teams for Formula 1 handle the race circuits".

"I noticed some people are upset with my comment on India", the 33-year-old wrote. I have visited and always had an incredible 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 unusual to drive past homeless people and then arrive in a huge arena where money was not an issue.

As some sections of the media seem determined to act more and more as PR for the sport under its "new" ownership, it didn't come as too much of a surprise at the weekend to hear Sky Sports F1 paying tribute to the news that the sport is heading to Vietnam in 2020, even to the point of gushing over the proposed track layout, which, we were told, looks "exciting" and "demanding" and "offers great overtaking possibilities", "high speeds" and "some great racing".

"They spent hundreds of millions on that track that is now never used", Hamilton said. "However, I have met some fantastic India fans", read the statement.

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