RESULTS: Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying results
Lewis Hamilton has walked out of his post-qualifying media session with journalists after expressing his dissatisfaction with the backlash from his social media use in Thursday's press conference.
The defending champion came in for criticism after seemingly being distracted by his use of the social networking app 'Snapchat', including taking photos of himself and fellow press conference attendees using the 'animal face filter'.
However, whilst others have dismissed his action as nothing more than fun and has raised a debate over whether the dated press conference format should be revised for 2017, Hamilton was unhappy with the way he was subsequently portrayed by the media in the aftermath.
As such, though he took part in the post-qualifying press conference and answered questions in the TV pen afterwards, he attended his media session only to say he wouldn't be answering questions before leaving again.
OPINION: Does Lewis Hamilton deserve his Snapchat backlash?
“The smile on your faces will probably be no longer…” he said as he entered. “I'm not actually here to answer your questions, I've decided.
"With the utmost respect, there are many of you here that are super supportive of me and those of you [that are] hopefully know that I know who they are, but there are others, unfortunately, that often take advantage of certain things.
“The other day was a super lighthearted thing and if you thought that I was disrespectful, it was honestly not the intention -- it was a little bit of fun, but what was more disrespectful was what was then written worldwide
“Unfortunately there are some people here and it's not them that have done it - unfortunately the decision I will take affects those that are super supportive, so that's why I say with the utmost respect, but I don't really plan on sitting at many more times for these kinds of things.
“So, my apologies, and I hope you guys enjoy the rest of your weekend.”
Hamilton, who comes into the weekend 23 points adrift of Nico Rosberg in the overall standings, qualified second behind his Mercedes team-mate at Suzuka.
WHERE & WHEN you can watch the Japanese Grand Prix
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