‘Spraygate’ could come to a screeching halt after the podium model at the centre of the saga played down the controversy.
Lewis Hamilton came under fire after photographs of him squirting champagne into the face of an uncomfortable-looking woman on the Shanghai podium emerged.
But the model at the heart of the controversy, 22-year-old Liu Siying, told the local Shanghai Daily it was no big deal.
“It lasted for only one or two seconds, and I didn’t think too much about it,” said Liu, reportedly a graduate of a Shanghai art school.
“I think some foreign media are more sensitive about the topic than local media,” she insisted.
The newspaper said Liu now works for a local real estate company.
On the Chinese social media service Weibo, Liu added: “I can’t control other people’s behaviour when I’m working. I hope the public doesn’t make too much of it, or that it affects my personal life.”