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Hamilton: I pay a lot of tax in UK

Lewis Hamilton has insisted he pays "a lot" of tax in the UK.

The Formula One star has faced controversy over the issue since he admitted in 2007 that he was moving to Switzerland, partly for tax reasons.

Hamilton, who was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, later moved to Monaco while he also has a home in Colorado.

The 29-year-old has addressed the scrutiny of his overseas residency in an interview with The Sunday Times's Style magazine today.

He said: "People moan and say, 'He doesn't live in the country, but he's happy to raise the flag'. It doesn't matter what country you live in. I was born here, man."

The star went on: "What people don't realise is that I pay tax here, but I don't earn all my money here.

"I race in 19 different countries, so I earn my money in 20 different places and I pay tax in several different places, and I pay a lot here as well.

Hamilton - who has a reported wealth of £68 million - said that he is "part of a much bigger picture".

"I am contributing to the country and, not only that, I help to keep a team of more than 1,000 people employed."

He also gave an insight into his relationship with pop star Nicole Scherzinger.

She cooked him his favourite dish - chicken and rice fajitas - to celebrate after he won his second F1 championship last month

"We're in a good place," he said.

On the possibility of walking down the aisle, he said: "I don't think we've ever really discussed marriage.

"We're very much aware of the time we get together, and how precious time is. I think naturally, at some stage, that becomes a step."

He also revealed he enjoys spending time in the recording studio at his US home.

"For me, it's very therapeutic. Instead of going out drinking at a club, I like to be in the studio."

Hamilton is among the contenders to be named BBC Sports Personality of the Year tonight.

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