The hostess at the centre of Lewis Hamilton’s champagne-spraying incident has played down the Mercedes driver’s actions, according to reports.
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The two-time Formula One world champion was accused of sexist bullying after he sprayed champagne in the face of the 22-year-old hostess Liu Siying following his Chinese Grand Prix win last Sunday.
Siying said that “foreign media” had blown the incident out of proportion and that she didn’t think much of Hamilton’s actions.
“It lasted for only one or two seconds, and I didn’t think too much about it,” Liu Siying is quoted as saying by Reuters (via Shanghai Daily).
“I think some foreign media are more sensitive about the topic than local media.
“I was just told by my employer to stand on the podium, and that’s what I did.”
Hamilton was slammed by social media users after still photos of the incident were released, which appeared to show a visibly uncomfortable Siying being sprayed in the face by the Brit.
The backlash over Hamilton’s celebrations and yet another spat with teammate Nico Rosberg has marred the Brit’s second win of the season as he aims for a third world title.
Rosberg accused Hamilton of purposely slowing down, which allowed the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel to close the gap on the German.
Hamilton currently leads the drivers’ standings on 68 points, 13 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel in second.
Rosberg rounds out the top three with 51 points.
Check out some of the reaction from Hamilton’s champagne celebration below:
@LewisHamilton Respecting your craft and judgement on the track but mate stop the shenanigans with the champagne. You’re not 10yrs old.
— Andrew Fiu (@lifeafter6) April 14, 2015
I thought Formula One was a gentlemanly sport but that photo of Lewis Hamilton opening the champagne bottle onto a woman’s head is so AWFUL. — Megan Robinson (@threadnz) April 13, 2015
— kurdt koebane. (@ryanpomm) April 13, 2015
@LewisHamilton Man please stop spraying Champagne on the Podium Ladies. They don’t like it. Congratulations! Stellar drive.