Ferdinand points to ‘racist’ element in criticism of Lewis Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton greets the crowd at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix (David Davies/PA)

Rio Ferdinand has defended Lewis Hamilton by claiming that “racist undertones” are driving critics claiming he lacks ‘Britishness’.

Hamilton reiterated his loyalty to the nation in the build-up to this weekend’s British Grand Prix when asked about his accent and his decision to live in Monaco.

The five-time world champion declared: “I go to all these races and I lift the British flag proudly. There is no one else in this sport that has raised it so high.”

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Lewis Hamilton facing jibes over his Britishness !!! When he lifts the titles he is reported very British…but on the way to winning, throughout the year his patriotism is questioned. Why??? The usual questions are “but you live in Monaco….your accent isn’t totally British…your lifestyle travelling and fashion choices….” Firstly, most F1 drivers live in Monaco including the likes of our other former world champion Jenson Button. Was Jenson’s britishness ever questioned for living in Monaco?? Not a chance. I will tell you why – because he looked similar, sounded similar, dressed similar & walked similar to the people who raise these questions of Hamilton. The level of disrespect & racist undertones in questioning Hamilton’s Patriotism should not be underestimated. He prepares diligently (Five world titles tells you that), has a working formula that works for him in his down time & after proving time and time again that his preparation for racing is perfect for him, even if it means flying in from LA where he was out and about then so be it. Do I like all of the clothes Lewis Hamilton wears, the hairstyles, his music choices etc…maybe not but do I question his Britishness?? No, of course not because he is embracing young culture and experimenting like everyone does in his own way and we should be saying good luck to him I say. If all these interests outside F1 were hindering his performances then I would get the questions on his lifestyle but he is breaking records and could well win his sixth world title this year! If you can enjoy your life doing things YOUR WAY, AND WIN, then you are really really winning in life as a British sportsman – but don’t forget to talk very British, dress very British, and most importantly live in the UK otherwise there will be questions on your patriotism! We should all celebrate a champion who is One Of Our Own! @lewishamilton #F1

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Former England and Manchester United defender Ferdinand has used his Instagram account to support the 34-year-old.

“Lewis Hamilton facing jibes over his Britishness !!! When he lifts the titles he is reported very British…but on the way to winning, throughout the year his patriotism is questioned. Why???”, Ferdinand wrote.

“The usual questions are “but you live in Monaco….your accent isn’t totally British…your lifestyle travelling and fashion choices….”

“Firstly, most F1 drivers live in Monaco including the likes of our other former world champion Jenson Button. Was Jenson’s britishness ever questioned for living in Monaco?? Not a chance.

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I’ll always remember today 🏆🇨🇳🙏🏾

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“I will tell you why – because he looked similar, sounded similar, dressed similar & walked similar to the people who raise these questions of Hamilton.

“The level of disrespect & racist undertones in questioning Hamilton’s Patriotism should not be underestimated.

“If you can enjoy your life doing things YOUR WAY, AND WIN, then you are really really winning in life as a British sportsman – but don’t forget to talk very British, dress very British, and most importantly live in the UK otherwise there will be questions on your patriotism!

“We should all celebrate a champion who is One Of Our Own! @lewishamilton #F1.”

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