Sao Paulo, Brazil – Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton on Wednesday dismissed a row over his avoidance of taxes on a luxury jet, saying he’s only thinking about this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
“I’m just solely focused on trying to win this race this weekend. I still have two races to go. I don’t really have anything to add to the whole scenario that’s happening,” he told reporters in Brazil’s biggest city ahead of Sunday’s race.
The British driver, who was crowned world champion for the fourth time last month in Mexico City, reportedly got a £3.3 million (R61 million) VAT refund in 2013 after his airplane was imported into the Isle of Man - a low-tax British Crown Dependency.
The allegation was part of revelations in the so-called Paradise Papers, a trove of documents about the tax avoidance practices of the rich leaked from elite accountancy firm Appleby to the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Hamilton’s lawyers have said the tax structure leading to the VAT refund was entirely legal. Noting that his spokesmen had already put out a press release, Hamilton said: “I don’t really have much more to add.
“I’ve just come from this great period of time with my family and friends that I have this huge wave of positive energy, and nothing can really dent that.
“That doesn’t distract me from my core values and also what I’m here to do, which is trying to win this Brazilian Grand Prix for the second time in my life in 10 years.”