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.

Lewis Hamilton

Sports figures

Asia

Continents and regions

India

South Asia

Auto racing

Formula One

Motor sports organizations

Motorsports

Sports and recreation

Sports organizations and teams

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

"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."

READ: Can legendary Formula One name fire again?

READ: Max Verstappen ordered to do 'public service'

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."

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 62°
Kokomo
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 58°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 57°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 62°
Danville
Mostly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 58°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 57°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 56°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 56°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 59°
Some More Frost & Light Freezing Ahead......
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
Knox365989
Steuben364457
Putnam352560
Jasper350146
Wabash347678
Adams337952
Ripley334568
Jefferson312980
White308154
Daviess289299
Wells286281
Decatur278792
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
Clay253244
LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
Spencer227631
Jennings224747
Fountain208445
Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
Perry180236
Orange177253
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
Crawford97614
Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events