Lewis Hamilton on Thursday tried to draw a line under two controversies that have been swirling over the past week.
The spat with teammate Nico Rosberg, the Mercedes driver said, is now over, after the German had accused Hamilton of spoiling his race in China.
“There is no issue between myself and Nico,” the Briton told reporters in Bahrain. “We saw each other this morning and everything is good.”
And Hamilton, 30, also fended off claims of sexism and thuggery, after photographs of him spraying champagne into a Shanghai podium model’s face went global.
He said he only realised the magnitude of the saga now known as ‘Spraygate’ when he arrived at the circuit on Thursday, so “It hasn’t affected me”.
“It’s nice to know that the lady kind of wrote in and was ok,” Hamilton added. “If she had written in and said she was really unhappy then perhaps I would be more concerned.”
Hamilton said his podium exuberance was due to “excitement”: “This is formula one, it’s the pinnacle of motor sport and I’d just won a grand prix. You should see it was a kind of a fun thing.
“I would never, ever intend to disrespect or try to embarrass someone like that,” he added.
“This is a sport that so many people love, and the more we show character and fun it reflects just how great this sport is, and that’s what I try to do.” (GMM)