Brut? Champagne spraying just F1 fun for Hamilton

Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:16am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - 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.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain sprays champagne at a grid girl as he celebrates his victory on the podium after the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria