Hamilton plays down China grid girl controversy

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Lewis Hamilton has dismissed criticism of his celebrations following the Chinese Grand Prix after he sprayed a grid girl with champagne.

Hamilton faced criticised from the feminist group Object after he was seen to spray a Chinese grid girl as he celebrated his win on the podium in China.

The grid girl, Liu Sying, downplayed the story, telling media in China that the incident had not been a big deal.

“It lasted for only one or two seconds, and I did not think too much about it at all,” she told Shanghai Daily. “I think some foreign media are more sensitive about the topic compared to local media. I was just told by my employer to stand on the podium, and that’s what I did.”

Speaking in Bahrain on Thursday, Hamilton admitted he was bemused by the reports, while insisting he had meant no offence.

“I hadn’t really heard too much about it until today,” he said. “Obviously when you come into the team you get a kind of debrief of what’s happened during the week.

“Fortunately for me it’s not overshadowed my week. Ultimately it was a great weekend. My actions are through excitement. This is Formula One, it’s the pinnacle of motorsport, I’d just won a grand prix for the team and… I usually see it as a fun thing.

“I would never intend to disrespect someone or try to embarrass someone like that. So, yeah, I guess… I don’t really know the reasons why people are starting to bring those kind of things up.

“This is a sport that so many people love and the more we show character and fun, perhaps it reflects just how great this sport is,” he added. “That’s what I try to do.

“I don’t really know what to say about it. It hasn’t really affected me and it’s nice to know that the lady wrote in… if it had been the other way and she’d wrote in and she was really unhappy, then perhaps there would be more concern.”

This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS 

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