Lewis Hamilton excused from Thursday media duties in France

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been excused from Thursday media duties for the French Grand Prix, in order to attend a memorial event for fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.

The German fashion mogul passed away in February at the age of 85 and requested there be no public funeral, instead a private service was held in Nanterre.

However Lagerfeld's friends have come together to hold a memorial event on Thursday in Paris, which Hamilton requested permission to attend. That was granted by team boss Toto Wolff and the FIA.

Hamilton, who has expanded into fashion lately with his own Tommy Hilfiger collection, had grown close to Lagerfeld and posted the following on his social media when the news of his passing was confirmed: "Karl, your creativity and imprint on fashion will live forever. God bless you. Rest in Peace."

The British driver is due to arrive at the Le Castellet circuit this evening ahead of Friday's practice sessions.

It marks the second time the five-time champion has skipped media duties this season, following the passing of former two-time F1 champion Niki Lauda ahead of the Monaco GP, with whom Hamilton was particularly close to.