August 30, 2018 / 11:47 AM / a year ago

Hamilton leaves it late to arrive at Monza

Formula One F1 - Belgian Grand Prix - Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot, Belgium - August 26, 2018 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after finishing second REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was excused Italian Grand Prix media duties on Thursday due to what his Mercedes team said was an “unavoidable personal commitment”.

The team gave no details but said he would not be arriving in Monza until Thursday evening, missing the official driver autograph session for fans.

The championship leader, last year’s winner from pole position at Monza, is 17 points clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with eight races remaining.

Practice for Sunday’s race starts on Friday.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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