Lewis Hamilton said "some people take things too seriously" after being criticised for playing with his phone during the Suzuka press conference.
Hamilton was front and centre for the press on Thursday but, despite interest in his state of mind following his engine failure in Malaysia, spent much of the time on the Snapchat app. The world champion posted several selfies of himself and Carlos Sainz, seated behind, while also noting "This s--- is killing me", apparently in reference to the app's filters rather than the press conference itself.
After Sky Sports and several of Fleet Street's F1 journalists criticised the driver for being distracted and "disrespectful", Hamilton insisted he was just trying to lighten up the press conference and stressed his belief the fans, not the media, should be asking the questions.
Today was meant to be fun, not at all disrespectful. Some people take themselves to seriously. I had a blast, highlight of my day!— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 6, 2016
Re press conference, it's been the same for 10 years. It's not the media or mediator, it's the format. Fans should be asking the questions!!— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 6, 2016
The world champion had been cagey when asked about his engine failure, championship chances and faith in Mercedes but stressed that he had made his thoughts on all three clear on his social media channels in the days since the Malaysian Grand Prix.