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Media are ‘disrespectful’

Lewis Hamilton

Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix is live on the BBC Sport website and on radio 5 live

Lewis Hamilton says he is going to minimise his appearances at news conferences over what he says is a lack of respect from the media.

The move follows criticism he received for his behaviour in a news conference.

In it, Hamilton posted images of himself and a fellow driver on Snapchat with bunny faces and gave minimal answers.

He said it was intended as “a super light-hearted thing” and what was written was “more disrespectful”.

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Hamilton included Carlos Sainz in the “super light-hearted” fun on Snapchat
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As a result, he said: “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.”

He then walked out of the news conference.

His remarks came in his usual news conference in the Mercedes area in the paddock at the Japanese Grand Prix after qualifying.

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Hamilton is under pressure to win Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix to claw back the world title points deficit to Nico Rosberg

The world champion qualified second for Sunday’s race behind team-mate Nico Rosberg, who has a 23-point advantage in the championship with fives races to go and 125 points still available.

Hamilton said: “I’m not here to answer your questions, I’ve decided. 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.

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“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.

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

Hamilton did not specify which particular articles he was offended by, and Mercedes said they did not know. The team did not know Hamilton was planning to make his statement.

In the official race preview news conference on Thursday, he had referred journalists who asked some questions about his remarks following his engine failure while leading the previous race in Malaysia to comments he had published on his social network outlets.

And he criticised the format of the news conference, in which six drivers are brought together to answer questions ahead of a race.

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Asked what he was doing on his phone, before the Snapchat images of himself and Carlos Sainz were widely disseminated, he said: “It’s quite funny, just some snaps of us drivers, it’s quite funny. That’s about it.

“Hey man, we’ve been doing this a long long time and it’s the same each time so got to keep adding new things to it.”

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/37583862