Lewis Hamilton snaps back at reporter after ill-timed Ferrari question asked

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton walks through the paddock at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton walks through the paddock.

Lewis Hamilton was not in the best of moods after the Japanese Grand Prix, getting tetchy with a reporter when the topic of Ferrari was brought up.

Hamilton was full of enthusiasm after qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, speaking of how a breakthrough had been achieved to allow him to see where he and Mercedes must go in a bid to improve the struggling W15. Just one day later though and Hamilton was not in such high spirits.

Ferrari question final straw for Lewis Hamilton

Having started the Suzuka race from P7, Hamilton found himself crossing the line down in P9, at one stage even voluntarily letting team-mate George Russell through, who finished just under three seconds up the road in P7.

So there was no happy Hamilton this time around, as the media found out when trying to get a line out of him following the race.

After a simple “it was okay” assessment of his race, a reporter tried to weave in Hamilton’s upcoming 2025 move to Ferrari, which did not go down well. In fact, it caused Hamilton to walk out, but not without comment.

The reporter asked: “Are you looking forward to being with them [Ferrari]? Because they’re faster?” To that, Hamilton replied: “Do you have any better questions?”

Since Hamilton did not stick around, said reporter will probably never find out the answer, but clearly this was a race which the seven-time World Champion was in no mood to dwell on.

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Mercedes had tried to pull off a one-stop strategy post-race restart with Hamilton, though after he was passed by Lando Norris, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz in quick succession, he wanted Mercedes to “change the strategy”.

It ultimately became a two-stop, though Hamilton did not believe strategy could have saved he and Mercedes from a tough day at the office anyway.

“Nothing, I don’t think,” he told Sky F1 – who did get some words out of him – after asking what more could have been gained with a strategy change.

“I don’t know what the different strategy would have been, whether there was a reason to stay on the medium at the restart, but we still had two really terrible hard tyres to run through. A real challenge today.

“I think I picked up a bit of damage in the beginning with Charles [Leclerc] around the outside. I had huge understeering for the first stint, I couldn’t turn the car through the corners.”

In summary, Hamilton admitted that the W15 was “pretty bad” around Suzuka on Sunday.

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