Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton questioned over ‘Britishness’ ahead of British Grand Prix
Hamilton had just qualified his Mercedes on the front row of his home GP at Silverstone, just six-thousandths of a second behind his teammate Valtteri Bottas.
And during the routine press conference, Hamilton was taken by surprise by a reporter from the Guardian newspaper, who asked him: "You have talked about how you love coming back to the UK but there is contention because people say you live in Monaco and your accent is not British. Why do you think people question your Britishness?"Also on rt.com Making a splash: Lewis Hamilton celebrates Monaco GP win by jumping into swimming pool (VIDEO)
While some may have waved off the question, Hamilton fielded it directly.
"It is crazy because I remember growing up and watching Jenson Button and all the youngsters coming through and they all migrated to Monaco. Nobody ever said anything," he said.
"Of course, when I did, they had something to say.
"But no matter how often you go abroad or elsewhere in the world, you come back to the UK, see the countryside, this great history of Formula 1, and I see my family. This is where my heart is. I am fully British.
"I guess over time I will do more positive things for the country. I go to these races and I lift the British flag proudly. There is no one else in this sport that has raised it so high.
"I do have five world titles and they didn't come on their own. I do what I want and I don't do what you think I should do. Only I know what is right for me and that is what led me to five world championships. Don't forget the number of wins I have, too."
Hamilton received strong words of support from former journalist, newspaper editor and current TV personality Piers Morgan, who took to Twitter to defend the F1 star.
"Absolutely disgusting that anyone is even questioning @LewisHamilton’s Britishness," he tweeted.
"One of the greatest British sportsmen in history, a man who’s always spoken so proudly of being British, and, as he says, someone who’s flown the flag higher than any other Briton in his sport."
Absolutely disgusting that anyone is even questioning @LewisHamilton’s Britishness.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 14, 2019
One of the greatest British sportsmen in history, a man who’s always spoken so proudly of being British, and as he says, someone who’s flown the flag higher than any other Briton in his sport. https://t.co/YNKMlozhoV