Lewis Hamilton refuses to comment on tax avoidance allegations

9 November 2017, 19:42

Lewis Hamilton has refused to comment on criticism of his tax affairs and says he is solely focused on winning Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Facing the media for the first time since he was named in the Paradise Papers, Hamilton did not explain his side, telling Sky Sports: "My team have released a statement and l don't have anything to add to that."

The British driver, who won his fourth Formula One world championship title in Mexico last month, is alleged to have avoided paying tax on a £16.5m private jet, which he imported into the Isle of Man.

Leaked documents show he claimed the red Bombardier Challenger 605 was for business use, earning him a £3.3m VAT refund.

But it is alleged Hamilton used it for private trips.

Hamilton's lawyers have said the tax structure was reviewed by a barrister and was found to be lawful.

They deny he has done anything illegal and have said it is not correct to say no VAT has been paid on any of the arrangements.

Hamilton is one of many famous figures implicated in the papers, including the Queen, whose private estate has been accused of investing millions of pounds in offshore tax havens.

The latest revelations centre on Prince Charles and the tech giant Apple.

On the track, Hamilton says he is determined to avoid repeating what happened when he last won the world title in 2015.

The Mercedes driver lost the final three races of the season to then team-mate Nico Rosberg.

"Looking back, two years ago the focus wasn't the same as it had been during the season," Hamilton admitted. "I don't like to live in regret, so it is what it is, but l definitely don't want to be in that position again.

"I am planning to keep the pressure as it has been throughout the year."