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Formula 1

07th Apr 2024

Lewis Hamilton walks out of Japanese Grand Prix interview following reporter’s Ferrari question

Ryan Price

Lewis Hamilton is set to be knighted

The seven-time Formula One champion was disappointed with his ninth place finish in the race.

Lewis Hamilton snapped at a reporter who asked him a question about his future team Ferrari during an interview following a poor performance from the British racer at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton came ninth at the Suzuka race, several places behind winner Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

The Englishman will join rival team Ferrari from next year, replacing Sainz and joining Frenchman Leclerc as teammate.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 10: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving (16) the Ferrari F1-75 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on April 10, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

He was clearly frustrated when entering the media tent after finishing two places behind his qualifying position of seventh.

It took just two questions for Hamilton to pack in his press time and leave the interview area.

He was first asked how his race had been, to which Hamilton bluntly replied: “It was okay.”

Then the reporter twisted the knife by asking: “Are you a little bit jealous of the Ferraris at the moment? Because they are faster?”

Hamilton quickly responded: “Do you have any better questions?” The reporter apologised but before anyone else could bring the awkwardness to an end by asking another, the former world champion said: “Thank you”, and walked away.

There was controversy within the Mercedes team during the race, when Hamilton let team-mate George Russell pass him during the early stages of the race.

Russell ended up finishing in seventh place, two positions in front of the 39-year-old.

Hamilton offering to let his team-mate through with them both on the same strategy was uncharacteristic, with the seven-time world champion having engaged in several fierce battles with Russell last season.

Speaking about the decision with Sky Sports F1 after the race, the Stevenage native said: “I think I picked up a bit of damage at the beginning with Charles, he came around the outside.

“I had huge understeer for the first stint,” he continued. “I couldn’t turn the car through any of the corners.”

“That’s why I let George by.”

The next stop on the 2024 F1 calendar will be the Chinese Grand Prix on April 21st, and Hamilton will be hoping that he can quieten the critics with a better finish on that occasion.

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