F1 Raceweek: Hamilton defends London Live no-show

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For the second week in a row, Lewis Hamilton faced a deluge of questions on an uncomfortable subject as he prepares for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Last time out, Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were the subject of intense scrutiny at the drivers' media conference following the pair's coming together in Azerbaijan.

This time, with Vettel not one of the stars present on Thursday, the focus was almost solely on Hamilton as he answered questions regarding his absence from F1's London Live event the previous day.

The three-time world champion was the only man from the grid not to attend, but he was quick to point out how he connects with the fans in other ways, which he feels do not attract the same media attention.

 

HAMILTON NOT BACKING DOWN

The Mercedes man remained defiant when faced with numerous questions about why he missed London and whether he felt he had let the fans down by not showing his face.

"Everyone has the right to decide for themselves. It's an intense season and I felt for me I needed to prepare the best way I could," he said.

"Of course, people have opinions about it but I'm trying to prepare for the battle ahead and other people have different ways of doing so.

"I don't think yesterday, personally, plays any role in how great this weekend is. People save up a lot of money to come and I think you'll have seen in previous years how much I appreciate and respect that. I like to think that I do everything I can to connect with the fans. Things that don't get reported on, like going to hospitals and spending times with kids who can't come to the grand prix."

 

BOTTAS TAKES A GAMBLE ON THE GRID

Before Hamilton faced reporters, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas discussed his rapid start at last week's Austrian Grand Prix, which came under investigation from race stewards.

The Finn's reaction times were found to be within the acceptable limits, and yet he still fielded questions on the matter on Thursday.

"You need to gamble a little bit. You need to be on the risky side rather than the safe side," he said, buoyed by taking 61 points from the past three races.

"We've definitely got some good momentum, some strong races as a team and the car is getting better and better. We'll try to continue the good run with a weekend here."

 

SURELY NOT THE END FOR THE SHOEY?

After Hamilton tersely batted away repeated questions about his London no-show, it was left to Daniel Ricciardo to lighten the mood in typical fashion.

The cheery Australian was asked about his traditional 'shoey' after every podium, following Martin Brundle's effort in Austria, although the Red Bull man was disappointed with Bottas' decision not to take part.

"Martin was frothing for it so I feel like there are some really sick b******** around here!" Ricciardo said. "Even yesterday people were shouting 'do a shoey!' so I feel like I've dug a hole for myself for this one.

"I want to say it's ran its course but we'll see. I heard the Finns drink but Valtteri did not carry his flag well last week."

Asked if he would be inclined to take part, Hamilton responded: "The juice from the foot is not something I wish to drink - especially not someone else's!"