Recently, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton questioned the strategy of taking Formula One to places like India, Korea and Turkey where the sport did not survive for long.
Vietnam, another such country, is soon to host its own Formula One race in 2020.
He said 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.
This comment soon attracted a lot of backlash on the internet and he had to come up with a longer explanation.
His original comment read :
“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. We had a grand prix in Turkey and hardly anyone came. Cool track, cool weekend but poor audience,” said the Briton, who secured his fifth title in Mexico last month.”
He soon replied on twitter once the criticism set in :
“Hey everyone, I noticed some people are upset with my comment on India. 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.
My reference was that a Grand Prix there felt strange to drive past homeless people and then arrive in an huge area where money was not an issue. They spent hundreds of millions on that track now that is never used.
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,”