Lewis Hamilton under fire after fiddling on Snapchat in F1 press conference
时间：2019-11-16 责任编辑：安备菰 来源：亚洲城-首页Welcome√ 点击：76 次
Formula One’s ruling body, the FIA, and its dominant team, Mercedes, were both left red-faced here on Thursday when the world champion, , made a mockery of the official drivers’ press conference before Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Hamilton had star billing at the event, in the middle of the front row, flanked by two other world champions in Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, but he appeared more interested in playing with his smartphone and using the image-messaging service Snapchat’s “bunny rabbit filter” to put ears on the Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz.
Alonso looked embarrassed as Hamilton shared the joke images with his former McLaren team-mate. He also showed Sainz the picture he had made of him.
Almost crying with laughter, Hamilton was asked what he had found so funny. “It’s quite funny, just some snaps of drivers,” he said. “We’ve been doing this [press conference] a long, long time and it’s the same. Just got to keep adding new things to it.” He captioned his phone pictures: “This stuff is killing me.”
Both the FIA and Mercedes looked uneasy when asked how they would respond. Whether there will be any official reaction is doubtful but Hamilton is likely to be spoken to next time he appears at the official launch of a grand prix weekend.
It is understood that some sponsors and officials are already unhappy about Hamilton’s casual approach to the pre-race drivers’ parade, when he is a detached figure listening to music on headphones instead of mixing with his rivals.
, saying: “Today was meant to be fun, not at all disrespectful. Some people take themselves to [sic] seriously. I had a blast, highlight of my day!”
, he wrote: “Re press conference, it’s been the same for 10 years. It’s not the media or mediator, it’s the format. Fans should be asking the questions!!”
Hamilton had already caused some embarrassment by posting messages on Facebook and Instagram in which the driver heaped praise on his Mercedes team – who might have felt upset after the Malaysian Grand Prix last Sunday. Then, after his engine had blown up 15 laps away from a straightforward victory, Hamilton fuelled conspiracy theories by saying: “Someone doesn’t want me to win this year.”
He added: “We have so many engines made for drivers but mine are the only ones failing this year. Someone needs to give me some answers because this is not acceptable. I just can’t believe that there’s eight Mercedes cars and only my engines are the ones that have gone this way. Something just doesn’t feel right. It was a brand-new engine. It’s just odd. Only mine have gone.”
Later that evening Hamilton backed away from accusing Mercedes of anything underhand and since then he has attempted to make amends by heaping praise on the team. In one message, Hamilton wrote: “In the garage there are around 50 guys, and they work 18 hours a day to put my car together. Not only that, they have to be ready to do the pitstops in under three seconds.
“There are too many different skill sets and specialists to mention all departments in the garage [car crews, engines, gearboxes, hyds, bodywork, spares, aero, composites, the list goes on], but I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the time and effort everyone puts in. Away from their families so many weeks of the year, this end of the season is tough on them.
“It’s hot and humid with no air-con in the garages, and to add to that, the jet lag and pressure of competition within F1 – this time of year can feel a long way from home. All I can do to repay their efforts is to push to the limit on the track.”
Hamilton is 23 points behind his teammate, Nico Rosberg, with five races to go, as a result of last Sunday, when victory would have taken him above the German, who came third. When Hamilton did manage to speak on Thursday he dismissed the idea that Malaysia had been preying on his mind. “I haven’t been thinking about the last race,” he said. “Even when I leave the racetrack I think about other things. I have a lot of other stuff going on. I was in Tokyo, enjoying that, love being in Tokyo, one of my favourite cities, top three cities in the world.”
When asked if he had a message for his supporters, he said: “They can just go on my Instagram, I put all my feelings on there so they have the right to their own opinion but as you’ve seen from my posts, you’ve seen how passionate I am about this team.”
Mercedes, meanwhile, have identified the cause of Hamilton’s engine failure, on Sunday, which so damaged his chances of a fourth world title. “Our analysis has shown that Lewis’s engine suffered a big-end bearing failure,” they said. “This happened without warning after 618 kilometres [384 miles] and was preceded by a loss of pressure in turn 15. We will introduce revised engine parameters for all Mercedes engines this weekend.”