Hamilton just spraying for fun

2015-04-16 16:03
Lewis Hamilton (AFP)

Manama - World champion Lewis Hamilton has said he was just trying to show the fun side of Formula One when he sprayed champagne in the face of a Chinese Grand Prix podium hostess last weekend.

Sunday's incident, captured in photographs that showed the woman flinching as the Mercedes driver aimed a stream of fizz at her, triggered condemnation from critics in Britain and Germany as well as on Chinese social media.

The woman herself played down what happened in an interview with the Shanghai Daily newspaper and Hamilton said he was relieved to hear that.

"Ultimately it was a great weekend, and generally my actions are through excitement," the Briton told reporters after arriving at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Thursday.

"This is Formula One, it's he pinnacle of motor sport and I'd just won a grand prix for the team. You should see it was a kind of a fun thing.

"I would never, ever intend to disrespect or try to embarrass someone like that."

Hamilton said it had not overshadowed his week because he had only just been briefed on the controversy, and he questioned why it had been brought up.

"This is a sport that so many people love, and the more we show character and fun it reflects just how great this sport is, and that's what I try to do," said the 30-year-old championship leader.

"It hasn't affected me, and it's nice to know that the lady kind of wrote in. If she had written in and said she was really unhappy then perhaps I would be more concerned."

The Shanghai Daily quoted 22-year-old Liu Siying, a graduate of the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, as saying the incident

"lasted for only one or two seconds, and I didn't think too much about it.

"I think some foreign media are more sensitive about the topic than local media," she added. "I was just told by my employer to stand on the podium, and that's what I did."

Hamilton was speaking after Britain's Times newspaper condemned his behaviour in a leader column.

"Hamilton is a great driver but nothing gives him the right to behave like a hooligan. Not even winning," it declared.

The practice of jubilant drivers spraying champagne on the podium has become a ritual dating back decades, even if some critics see it as uncouth while others shudder at the waste of good bubbly.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Hypothetically, given the same cars to drive, who is the most talented current Formula One driver in your opinion?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.