Hamilton walks out on ‘disrespectful’ media

Date published: October 8 2016

Lewis Hamilton says he will minimise his appearances at future press conferences, after criticising the media for a lack of respect.

The F1 World Champion came under fire for his behaviour at Thursday’s press conference in Japan, when he appeared to ignore the media and give brief answers while taking pictures of himself and his fellow drivers with funny filters on the mobile app Snapchat.

Hamilton was criticised for showing a lack of respect, but said afterwards he only intended it as “a super light-hearted thing."

On Saturday, he seemed upset about the incident, saying that the media’s treatment of him was “more disrespectful” than his own behaviour.

“I’m not here to answer your questions, I’ve decided,” said Hamilton. “With the utmost respect, there are many of you here who are super-supportive of me and they hopefully know I know who they are.

“There are others unfortunately that often taken advantage of certain things. The other day was a super light-hearted thing, and if I was disrespectful to any of you guys, or if you felt I was disrespectful, it was honestly not the intention. It was just a little bit of fun.

“But what was more disrespectful was what was then written worldwide.”

As a result, Hamilton said he will pare down his media appearances in the future.

“Unfortunately the decision I will take unfortunately affects those who have been super-supportive, so that is why I am saying it with the utmost respect.

“But I don’t really plan on sitting here many more times for these kind of things. So my apologies and I hope you guys enjoy the rest of your weekend.”

With that, he got up and walked out of the press conference.

Hamilton qualified in second place for Sunday’s race behind team-mate Nico Rosberg, who has a 23-point lead in the championship with fives races remaining.