Lewis Hamilton says he never meant to cause offence toward grid girl Liu Sying following complaints his podium celebration was disrespectful.
Following the Briton’s victory in China, Hamilton proceeded to spray Sying in the face with champagne. A backlash followed with several media outlets calling the event a “disgrace” and describing Hamilton as a “hooligan”.
Sying herself played down the incident, telling local media that it wasn’t 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.”
Hamilton was bemused by the reports and insists he never meant to cause offence with his actions.
“I hadn’t really heard too much about it until today,” he explained.
“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.
“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.”