Lewis Hamilton defends absence from London F1 Live event

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has defended his decision not to attend the F1 Live event in London in the build-up to the British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton defends absence from London F1 Live event

The three-time world champion was the only current F1 driver not to take part in the event in the English capital on Wednesday.

While the other 19 drivers took part in the day that included street demonstrations from several teams, the first since an event in Regent Street in 2004, Hamilton said he needed to take a break between back-to-back races in Austria and Britain.

Speaking at Silverstone on Thursday, Hamilton said "everyone had the right to make the decision for themselves".

"I felt that it had been a pretty intense season so far and I needed to prepare the best way I could this weekend," said Hamilton, who is seeking a fourth straight British GP win.

"The season is the most important thing for me and that is really it. People can have opinions about it.

"It is a very intense season, I am trying to prepare the best way I can for the battle ahead of me.

"I don't feel yesterday played any role in how great this weekend will be.

"It has been growing every year, people save up so much to come up to this grand prix - you will see how much I appreciate and respect that."

Hamilton explained he had informed the organisers of the event and Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff last week that he would not be attending.

Asked if he stood by the decision, after receiving some boos at the event and criticism afterwards, Hamilton replied: "I feel like I've answered as much as I really want to.

"I am solely focused on this weekend. I feel great being here.

"I feel the best prepared I can be. That is all I can say really."

Several drivers and F1 personnel claimed F1 Live was a significant step in branching out to existing fans and engaging a new audience.

Hamilton said he already did "everything I can to genuinely connect" with his supporters.

"I do have the biggest following here in F1, and communicate with them as much as I can," he said.

"Fans mean everything to me, they always have, and I make no secret of that.

"What I do outside the sport, such as when I go and visit a hospital and spend time with young kids who can't come to a grand prix - that is not something you potentially report on, but that is very important to me.

"That is where I feel I like to put my energy mostly.

"We have decisions to make, and you have to stand by them, and feel proud, and I do.

"The goal is to win the British Grand Prix for the home crowd.

"I've been really fortunate in the last few years to do that and the yearning and the will to want to do that again is greater than ever."

shares
comments
Sebastian Vettel to be first F1 driver to try shield at Silverstone

Previous article

Sebastian Vettel to be first F1 driver to try shield at Silverstone

Next article

Fernando Alonso hopes live London F1 event 'first of many'

Fernando Alonso hopes live London F1 event 'first of many'
Load comments
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021