Mercedes defend Lewis Hamilton over comments about India

File image of Lewis Hamilton

File image of Lewis Hamilton

Some of those Indian fans had responded to Hamilton's initial comments by pointing out the country's fast-growing economy was now the world's sixth largest.

Of course, similar comments were made in anticipation of the events in India and Korea.

Vietnam will host its first race on the streets of the capital Hanoi in April 2020 after becoming the newest addition to the F1 calendar.

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"We've got a lot of real racing history in England, Germany, Italy and now in the States it is starting to grow", said Hamilton. 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 handsome places in the world, with incredible culture". "If it was my business, I'd be trying to do more events in those countries", Hamilton told BBC.

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

Lewis Hamilton has defended his comments about India, which he suggested was poor and should not have hosted a grand prix.

The current champion of the Formula One Grand Prix feels India has no racing tradition.

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The inaugural edition saw close to 90,000 people attending the Grand Prix before the number fell to 65,000 the following year.

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

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"I've been to Vietnam before and it is lovely", five-time world champion Hamilton told the BBC.

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. The culture there is incredible.

"They spent hundreds of millions on a track that was now never used and that money could have been spent on schools or homes. When we did have the race nobody came because it was too expensive or there was no interest", he added.

The Indian GP lasted three seasons, between 2011 and 2013. The circuit originally signed a five-year deal with F1 but the 2014 edition was postponed due to a tax dispute between the circuit and the FIA, with the local government classing F1 as entertainment and not a sport.

The Vietnam Grand Prix will become the third race in Southeast Asia, following Singapore and Malaysia, which was ditched after the 2017 race because of poor ticket sales.

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