Stevenage councillors unhappy with Hamilton's comments

29/05/2014
NEWS STORY

A number of local councillors have hit out at Lewis Hamilton following comments he recently made about the town where he was born and grew up.

Speaking ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, the Mercedes driver suggested that teammate Nico Rosberg had enjoyed a more privileged upbringing, being the son of a world champion, and therefore lacked the hunger to really fight for the title.

Pointing to the fact that Rosberg grew up in Monaco, Hamilton said that Stevenage, where he grew up, was "not a great place". Whilst some claimed the comments had been taken out of context, the Briton repeated them over the course of the weekend, much to the annoyance of councillors in the Hertfordshire town which was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

"I can't see how he can say such things about the place where he grew up," Cllr Philip Bibby, councillor for the Woodfield area where Mr Hamilton lived, told the Comet, the local newspaper. "He needs to remember his roots.

"The council runs numerous schemes with the aim of providing opportunities for all our young people," he added, "from the academic through to the athletic and artistic types. His comments are unfair."

"I think Stevenage is a great place to grow up and there was no need for Lewis to be so derogatory in his comments," added Cllr Howard Burrell, Stevenage Borough Council's (SBC) member for young people, culture, sport, and leisure. "It's where he came from, after all.

"I would prefer it if he chose to highlight some of the benefits of coming from our town as he is, without question, the most successful sportsperson we have ever produced. There is no need to say such things about his home town."

"Of course we are very proud of Lewis," added SBC leader Sharon Taylor, "he's an incredible example of what people from Stevenage can do. But it would be a lot better if he could speak up for the place he comes from. We would love to talk to him about promoting the town. He's an inspiration to other young people and we want them to feel they can become the best in their field – just as he has."

In Hamilton's defence, a reader commented: "There really is no need for people to be so sensitive. He was comparing his upbringing to that of his team-mate. No big deal. Although I must say that the 1Million+ Tewin Wood property that the Hamiltons ended up in before Lewis broke into F1, is not exactly squalor."

Chris Balfe

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 29/05/2014
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.