Lewis Hamilton has explained that he could not help himself from pulling out his phone to snap a picture of the four drivers next to him during a press conference at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver managed to secure an impressive fourth-placed finish on the streets of Baku after climbing his way up the field but endured a torrid time of things in the cockpit, with his car often bouncing violently on the long home straight.
Hamilton complained of back pain on a number of occasions over the course of the weekend and was spotted moving gingerly as he stepped out of his car at the end of Sunday’s 51-lap race. He also managed to get people talking about a bizarre moment during a press conference as he took a photo of the other drivers in the media room while taking questions from the reporters in attendance.
“Had to get the shot,” said the 37-year-old via Instagram as he explained his decision to catch his rivals off-guard by whipping out his phone and taking a quick picture of them. Hamilton went on to post the image to Twitter, showing Nicholas Latifi, Charles Leclerc, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel looking on without realising they were being snapped.
Hamilton has previously sparked controversy about the use of his phone during press conferences, with the seven-time champion drawing the ire of journalists when he fiddled around on Snapchat during a group interview at the Japanese Grand Prix back in 2016. He chose to upload a series of pictures of himself as a rabbit and Carlos Sainz as a fox using filters and was criticised for not paying attention before insisting via Twitter that he was simply trying to have a bit of fun.
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“Today was meant to be fun, not at all disrespectful,” wrote Hamilton at the time. “Some people take themselves too seriously. I had a blast, highlight of my day!
“Re press conference, it’s been the same for 10 years. It’s not the media or mediator, it’s the format. Fans should be asking the questions!”
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Hamilton will have a less painful race at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix if Mercedes manage to find a solution to the bouncing that caused so many problems in Baku. They have struggled with the issue since the start of pre-season testing but appear to have made little progress with regards to a fix over the course of the campaign to date.
The Silver Arrows have seemingly been affected to a greater degree than the vast majority of teams on the grid but looked to have nailed a solution in Spain thanks to an important upgrade to the floor area of their W13 challenger. However, the problem has since returned in a different form to give Mercedes plenty of food for thought as the season approaches the halfway point.
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