London - Five-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has apologised to residents of his boyhood home town Stevenage for suggesting he grew up in a slum.
The Briton, his country's most successful racing driver, said on national television at Sunday's BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards that it had been a dream for him and his family "to get out of the slums".
"Well, not the slums, but to get out of somewhere and do something," the Mercedes driver, who is now a multi-millionaire with homes in Monaco and the United States, added immediately after.
The comment drew condemnation from offended civic authorities and on social media.
Hamilton, who speaks often about his journey from an underprivileged background to the pinnacle of motor racing, said in an Instagram post on Tuesday that he had made a mistake.