Lewis Hamilton says he didn’t take part in yesterday’s F1 Live London event because he didn’t want to compromise his preparation for the British Grand Prix weekend.
Hamilton was the only driver in the field not to take part in the first-of-its-kind event at Trafalgar Square yesterday afternoon.
“Everyone had the right to make the decision for themselves,” said Hamilton when asked why he had decided not to attend.
“For me I felt it had been a pretty intense season and for me I needed to prepare the best way I could for this weekend. The season’s the most important thing for me, and that’s really it.”
“Obviously people are going to have opinions about it,” Hamilton added. “But this is a very intense season, I’m trying to prepare the best way I can for the battle ahead of me. And other people will have different ways of doing so.
I love this grand prix, I love this race. I don’t feel yesterday, personally, plays any role in how great this weekend is for me. Every season for the last ten years has been incredible, it’s been growing every year. You get people who have saved up so much for the year to come up to this grand prix. You’ll have seen in the previous years how much I appreciate and respect that and try to give and enjoy the weekend with the fans, and that doesn’t change.”
The Mercedes driver refuted suggestions there had been any clash with F1 over payment for the use of his image at the event. Hamilton also said he wasn’t aware some in the crowd had reacted to his absence by booing.
“I generally haven’t been on my phone for the last couple of days,” he said. “I’ve been trying to switch off mostly.”
He pointed out that the trip to Greece he took instead of attending the event had been no greater inconvenience than travelling to London for an extra day.
“In terms of flying, I don’t live here,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been here anyway, I was back in Monaco first.”
“But I fly a lot longer than that for trips and I usually arrive feeling pretty good. But right now my sole focus is on this weekend, making sure I put every bit of energy into this great weekend.”
“I’ve received incredible love from the fans every single year that I come here, I’m looking forward to seeing them.”
Asked if he would attend such an event in future Hamilton said: “I guess I would decide when the time comes.”
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year