Mercedes boss Toto Wolff defends Lewis Hamilton's comments on Indian GP

Annette Crawford
November 16, 2018

Formula One has been steadily expanding its reach across countries like India, China, Korea, Singapore and other Eastern countries.

The circuit is reported to have cost around $550m to build, and without a Formula One race the owners have struggled to recoup the costs.

The Indian Grand Prix was added to the F1 calendar in 2011, with racing at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi.

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.

Hamilton made this statement about India that while the country was in such a poor state, he felt conflicted as he got ready to enter in the lovely race track at Uttar Pradesh.

"I've been to Vietnam before and it is lovely", he had told the BBC.

Five times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton issued a clarification on Thursday of his comments about how he had felt "conflicted" to be racing in "a poor place" like India during the years when the country hosted a grand prix. "On the racing side, I don't know how important it is to go to new countries as such".

"If you have the German Grand Prix and you've got a grand prix in Berlin, I think connecting to cities where a lot of people are is probably a good thing, not necessarily going to countries where they don't know so much about Formula 1". He has issued a clarification to all his Indian fans over this statement made and his Instagram and Twitter now states that "India is one of the most lovely places in the world, with incredible culture".

"I have visited and always had an fantastic 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 odd to drive past homeless people and then arrive in an huge area where money was not an issue". Hamilton was of the opinion that the millions spent on the track, that is now not in use, could have been spent on schools and homes for those in need.

"When we did have the race, nobody came because it was too expensive most likely or (there was) no interest".

"However, I have met some awesome Indian fans", Hamilton added.

The little-used circuit has since hosted a number of domestic championship races, and been used by auto manufacturers for track days, but is widely seen as an expensive "white elephant".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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