Lewis Hamilton says there never an intention to 'embarrass or disrespect' a woman on the podium in the Chinese Grand Prix after images emerged of him spraying champagne directly at her.

The defending champion, who won the race to extend his lead in the overall standings, has come in for criticism of sexism after he was seen during celebrations on the podium directing it at a woman stood on the podium.

Despite this, the woman in question, 23 year-old Liu Siying has since explained to Shanghai Daily that she 'wasn't offended' by it, saying it lasted only 'one or two seconds'.

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When asked about the reaction, Hamilton was also surprised by the outcry levelled at him, expressing his regret at the impression but insisting it was 'a kind of fun thing'.

"I hadn't really heard too much about it until today," he said. "Obviously when you arrive you get a debrief as to what has happened during the week, so fortunately for me it has not overshadowed my week.

"Ultimately it was a great weekend, and generally my actions are through excitement. This is Formula One, the pinnacle of motor sport and I'd just won a grand prix for the team.

"You should see it was a kind of a fun thing. I would never ever intend to disrespect or try to embarrassment someone like that. I don't really know the reasons why people have brought those things up.

"This is a sport so many love, and the more we show character and fun it reflects how great this sport is, and that's what I try to do.

"It hasn't affected me, and it's nice to know the lady kind of wrote in. If she had wrote in and said she was really unhappy then perhaps I would be more concerned."

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Of course he didn't mean disrespect - and the podium girls have been sprayed for decades (James Hunt did a whole lot more than just spray champagne with them!!!).

It's just that stupid Object woman who had to have her 15 seconds of fame - I found, as well, that their website is "down for re-construction" hahahaha - obviously can't take all the jibes levelled at them.

richard: drivers have to respect the culture of the countries that they are visiting. in china, the female is accorded far more respect that in europe or the states. it would benefit any driver to check the rules of etiquette of a country before letting loose. i am sure that nobody would spray prince albert with champagne in monaco, but they might spray harry in the uk. different countries, different standards.[\blockquote]

Harry, yes, William no.