To the undoubted dismay of, not only the Formula One media, but also the organisers of the Bath triathlon, who would have thought that they has something of a coup on their hands, Lewis Hamilton has been pulled out of his proposed duel with F1 rival Jenson Button.

The date was set as Button and David Coulthard egged Hamilton on during Thursday's FIA press conference at the British Grand Prix, after it was revealed that the McLaren driver had made remarks about their respective levels of fitness during a recent sponsor appearance. After much prevaricating, and the subsequent offer of a charitable donation from Button, the competitive Hamilton agreed that he would take his rival on over the three-discipline event.

"I was trying to see whether I'm busy that day and, unfortunately, I don't think I am," he said, "No, honestly, the biggest incentive is, if I do beat you, then you've got some money for a charity, which is great. However, you do have an advantage as you've already done one, and I already know that by doing one you're better the next time. But man, I'm up for it, I'm up for it. Okay, let's do it. It's a date!"

The acceptance last all of half an hour, before father Anthony scratched Hamilton from the competition.

"Unfortunately for Lewis, we are withdrawing him from this," Hamilton Sr, who acts as his son's manager, said, "We are in the middle of a championship and that is the focus of our attention."