Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has apologised on social media after facing backlash over an inappropriate comment about his three-year-old nephew wearing a princess dress on Instagram.

Hamilton, who has since removed the post and has posted a statement on Instagram live and Twitter. It says, "Yesterday I was playing around with my nephew and realised that my words were inappropriate so I removed the post. I meant no harm and did not mean to offend anyone at all. I love that my nephew feels free to express himself the way we all should."

Hamilton had taken to Instagram on Christmas Day to criticise his nephew's outfit saying, "Boys don't wear princess dresses".

The British racing driver wrote, "My deepest apologies for my behavior as I realise it is really not acceptable in the world today for anyone, no matter where you are from, to marginalise or stereotype anyone."

"I have always been in support of anyone living their life exactly how they wish and I hope I can be forgiven for this lapse in judgement," he concluded.

Hamilton's nephew opted to don a pink and purple princess dress for Christmas Day and is seen playfully waving a pink wand. The 32-year-old, who captioned the post using an embarrassed monkey emoji, said, "I'm so sad right now, look at my nephew."

He then asked the youngster, "Why are you wearing a princess dress? Is this what you got for Christmas?" and later again interrogates, "Why did you ask for a princess dress for Christmas?"

Hamilton then ended his video by controversially saying, "Boys don't wear princess dresses!" which infuriated his 5.7 million followers on Instagram.

While many fans are convinced with the racer's apology, some refuse to buy it. One person wrote on Twitter, "You made fun of him in public for wearing a dress. If the fabric of your very masculinity can be torn apart because someone wears a dress says so much more about you than your nephew. Sit on it for awhile. You don't even know what you've done wrong, do you?"

Another social media user pointed out, "Your nephew will be left feeling that HE has done something wrong!!! Your true views were revealed in that video, you are only sorry now because it has damaged you publicly!!!"

While some came to Hamilton's support, noting, "People talking s**t all the time. You do nothing wrong. What's wrong with some jokes when You spend time with family. No words... Haters gonna hate. Don't worry Lewis, have a great time with Your family."

Another supported tweeted, "Don't worry Lewis! Most of us realised you were just joking around and having fun with your nephew! We're lucky to get such access to your personal life, thank you!"