F1 Raceweek: Distracted Hamilton snaps at news conference


Lewis Hamilton courted controversy once again as he spent a large part of a pre-Japanese Grand Prix news conference taking pictures on his phone.

The Briton, who struck a markedly different tone after an engine fire ended his race in Malaysia, drew criticism from some quarters as he appeared distracted.

Hamilton, who sits 23 points behind Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in defence of his Formula One world championship title, had to address questions over his antics.

"Just some snaps of us drivers, it's quite funny," he said when asked what he was doing on his phone.

"Hey man, we've been doing this a long, long time and it's the same each time. We've got to keep adding new things to it."

When the phone was out of sight, Hamilton cut a more defiant figure as he spoke about the woes that visited him at Sepang, with the 31-year-old insisting the incident was behind him.

"I've not been thinking about the last race," he said. "Usually when I leave the race track I think about a lot of other things, I have a lot of other stuff going on, so I was in Tokyo enjoying my time. I love being in Tokyo. It's one of my favourite cities, one of my top three favourite cities in the world."

That approach is in stark contrast to his attitude after Sunday's race, when he hinted at apparent inequality, saying: "We have so many engines for eight drivers and mine are the only ones failing.

"Someone has to give me some answers because it is just not acceptable."

Aside from the sight of Hamilton's engine going up in flames, Fernando Alonso also provided fans in Malaysia with a remarkable spectacle as he came from the back of the grid to finish seventh.

The McLaren driver made up 10 places on the first lap alone and on Thursday he conceded it required a great number of things to fall into place to achieve such a turnaround.

"It's a little bit of everything, probably," said the Spaniard. "A little bit of luck as well. Sometimes you try to recover places and you try to choose a line into turn one, left or right.

"You never know what is going to happen in front of you, so it's a little bit of luck that you need. But, yes, over probably 16 years of Formula One I have recovered probably many, many places, so it cannot be only luck."

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, fourth in the standings, was more downbeat, though.

"It's a bit difficult to be satisfied where we are right now," he said. "Obviously we want to be in better places and fighting in front.

"But this is what we have right now. We always try to do our best, but obviously the places where we've been recently are not where we want to be as Ferrari, but we have to keep working and giving our best, and hopefully sooner rather than later we will be up there."