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F1: Lewis Hamilton calls hometown “the slums,” tries to retract; social media blasts him

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Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home – except maybe for five-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton has suffered a major backlash from his native Great Britain, particularly from residents past and present of his hometown of Stevenage, about 30 miles north of London.

During Sunday’s annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year show, Hamilton, who earned his fifth F1 title this year, referred to his hometown in a less than flattering way.

“It’s been a really long journey, a dream for us all, as a family, to do something different, to get out of the slums,” Hamilton said.

Almost immediately realizing he misspoke, Hamilton quickly tried to correct himself, adding, “Well, we would say it’s not the slums, but just come out from somewhere and do something.”

The 33-year-old Hamilton’s “slums” comment set the social media world on fire.

According to the United Kingdom’s Daily Star newspaper, here are some of those comments:

* Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor said residents felt “very offended” at Hamilton’s comments and also called them “disappointing.” Taylor added, “He clearly realized what he had said and tried to correct it but sadly the people of our town, many of whom admire and support him, felt very offended.”

* Hamilton’s former babysitter said he was “shocked” at Hamilton’s words, calling Stevenage “charming and peaceful.”

* One Twitter user wrote: “Lewis Hamilton describing Stevenage as a slum [laughing emoji]. What an absolute toolbag.”

* Another Twitter user said: “Lewis Hamilton has just insulted EVERYONE in his home town of Stevenage!! It is NOT a ‘SLUM’ you t***!!”

* Added another Twitter user: “@LewisHamilton Are you for real?! Get your head out of your own a***! Slums?! I’ve lost a lot respect for you. Everyone knows that’s not true. #Stevenage #Hometown #SPOTY.”

* And one more tweet: “When your first friends and family are from the ‘slums’, don’t alienate your roots.. There’s worse places to live #stevenage #lewishamilton.”

Hamilton has not responded to the criticism nor publicly apologized for his comments. He finished second in the annual awards ceremony, as Tour de France Geraint Thomas captured top honors.

Given that Hamilton now lives in Monaco due to U.K. tax laws, and throw in the current drama, perhaps Hamilton will heed the author Thomas Wolfe’s words: “You can’t go home again.”

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.