OCTOBER 7, 2016
Hamilton denies disrespecting media
Lewis Hamilton has denied deliberately disrespecting the assembled media ahead of the Japanese grand prix.
Throughout the official FIA press conference, the world champion played on his phone, uploading a series of 'snaps' to the social media platform Snapchat and using swear words to declare his boredom.
"Fun and frolics -- or disrespect?" wondered The Times' Kevin Eason.
Eason said the antics attracted a "thunderous look" from senior FIA officials, while The Telegraph said Hamilton turned the presser into "a farce".
Faced with the criticism, the Mercedes driver later said on Twitter: "Today was meant to be fun, not at all disrespectful. Some people take themselves too seriously."
Some people, however, had wondered whether Hamilton's antics were simply diversionary tactics, having triggered a post-Malaysian grand prix storm by insinuating that Mercedes is sabotaging his championship campaign.
"No," Marc Surer, a former F1 driver and pundit for German television Sky, said when asked about the conspiracy theories.
"The worst possible advertising for Mercedes is a broken engine."
Surer suggested Hamilton needs to learn how to accept defeat and bad luck as easily as he accepts victory.
"Hamilton was world champion for the past two years, which of course involves a lot of luck. So he also needs to accept bad luck," he insisted.