Lewis Hamilton was bemused by controversy which arose in China around him spraying a grid girl with champagne during the podium ceremony.
In the days since his victory in Shanghai feminist group Object complained Hamilton had “abused” the grid girl by dousing her with champagne. It labelled his behaviour “selfish and inconsiderate” and demanded an apology from the world champion, despite the fact Hamilton is not the first F1 driver to have sprayed a grid girl or dignitary on a podium before.
“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 embarrass someone like that.”
The grid girl in question, Liu Siying, was quoted as saying she was not bothered by the incident in local media since the event.
“It lasted for only one or two seconds, and I did not think too much about it at all,” she is quoted as saying by Shanghai Daily. “I think some foreign media are more sensitive about the topic compared to local media. I was just told by my employer to stand on the podium, and that’s what I did.”
Referring to those quotes, Hamilton added: “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 [to the paper]. If she had wrote in and said she was really upset then perhaps I would be more concerned.”
Bottas was announced as the team’s other signing for 2022 earlier this year, with current driver Kimi Raikkonen set to retire from F1 at the end of 2021.
Hamilton fined for removing seat belts on slowing down lap
Zhou, 22, has been racing in Formula 2 since 2019 and has also been a member of the Alpine driver academy in recent years.
He is currently second in the F2 standings behind Oscar Piastri, who was named as an Alpine reserve driver for next year on Tuesday and had been considered a candidate for the Alfa Romeo drive.
Zhou is likely to bring considerable backing from China, with some reports suggesting as much as $30 million, but Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur would not be drawn on the details or duration of the contract.
“We are 200% focused on the performance of the team and we don’t have to hide the fact that the budget is part of the performance and we are also targeting to get to the cost cap because it’s an important step for us,” he told Reuters.
“The decision is crucial for the future of the company,” Vasseur added, whose team are ninth out of 10 in the constructors’ standings.
“It was not only based on the fact that he is Chinese but it will be a mega-push for the company, for sponsors and I think also for F1 in general,” he told Reuters.
“He’s a front-runner in F2, he won in Bahrain and Silverstone this season and is still in a position to win the championship and it’s a very good combination at the end. I’m more than optimistic.”
Zhou, who won this year’s F3 Asian championship but has not secured a title outside of that series since graduating from go-karts, said his childhood dream had come true.
“I dreamt from a young age of climbing as high as I can in a sport that I am passionate about and now the dream has come true,” Zhou said. “It is a privilege for me to start my Formula One racing career with an iconic team, a team that has introduced so much young talent into Formula One in the past. Now the dream is reality.
“I feel well prepared for the immense challenge of Formula One, the pinnacle of my sport, alongside a proven, world-class talent in Valtteri Bottas. I wish to thank the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team for this opportunity. Next year the target will be to learn as much as possible and as quickly as possible.
“To be the first ever Chinese driver in Formula One is a breakthrough for Chinese motorsport history. I know a lot of hopes will be resting on me and, as ever, I will take this as motivation to become better and achieve more.”
“The news Guanyu Zhou will be in F1 next season is fantastic for the sport and the millions of passionate Chinese fans that now have a home hero to cheer all year long. The pyramid in F2 is working and promoting talent to the topflight of motorsport. Zhou is an incredible talent, who will be a fantastic addition to the amazing grid we have, and he will entertain and keep all our Chinese fans excited in 2022.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas claims innocence after Andy Murray vents anger at…….
Stefanos Tsitsipas denied bending the rules with his bathroom breaks during his dramatic five-set victory over Andy Murray at the US Open.
Scot Murray, 34, blasted the Greek third seed for the “nonsense” and said he had lost respect for him after Tsitsipas disappeared off court for almost eight minutes at the start of the fifth set.
However, after closing out a 2-6 7-6 (7) 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over the 2012 champion in just less than five hours, Tsitsipas said: “If there’s something that he has to tell me, we should speak, the two of us, to kind of understand what went wrong.
I don’t think I broke any rules. I played by the guidelines
“I don’t think I broke any rules. I played by the guidelines, how everything is. I don’t know how my opponent feels when I’m out there playing the match. It’s not really my priority.
“As far as I’m playing by the rules and sticking to what the ATP says is fair, then the rest is fine. I have nothing against him. Absolutely nothing.”
Murray’s defeat, and that of Marin Cilic, who had to retire at two sets all against Philipp Kohlschreiber, means there is only one player left in the men’s draw to have won a grand slam title – the 20-time major winner Novak Djokovic.
Daniil Medvedev, the second seed from Russia, got his bid for a maiden grand slam title off to a confident start by beating Richard Gasquet in straight sets.
The 25-year-old roared past Frenchman Gasquet 6-4 6-3 6-1 in less than two hours.
RBA drops just games to advance to Round 2.
Nick Kyrgios won just seven games as his campaign came to an end at the hands of Roberto Bautista Agut.
Australian Kyrgios threw in his usual tweeners and underarm serves but Bautista Agut, the unflappable 18th seed from Spain, was too solid as he ran out 6-3 6-4 6-0 winner.
Andrey Rublev, the Russian fifth seed, is safely through after a straight-sets win over Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic.
Usain Bolt reveals he’s ‘always’ had a crush on Beyoncé and he was starstruck to meet her
He may hold the title as the fastest man in the world, but even Usain Bolt gets nervous once in a while, especially when it comes to meeting beautiful women. Speaking to Lorraine Kelly on Friday morning, the nine-time Olympic gold medallist revealed that he has a crush on none other than Beyoncé.
The sporting legend revealed his celebrity crush live on Lorraine
“Because I was always a fan, I’ve always had a crush on Beyoncé, so I’ve always had a conversation I would have [in my head] and when I met her I was like [stares open-eyed] ‘hi’,” he told the day time host. “I could tell I was looking at her weird because she was looking at me like, ‘why is he staring at me’. It was fun though.”
President Obama also has an affect on the 30-year-old, who admitted: “When I met Obama that was also massive for me.”
Usain was on Lorraine to chat about his new documentary I Am Bolt, which follows the sporting legend in the 18 months leading up to his historical Olympic triple win in Rio this year.
Talking about his training, Usain revealed: “People always say, ‘you make it look so easy, I could probably do it’ and I’m like, ‘no, no’. So to make people see the work that I put in and the strain that goes in, mentally and physically. I wanted people to see all of that so they could understand me better and to see the work I put in is no joke.”
The Olympic champion also shut down rumours that he was engaged to his main crush, girlfriend of two years, Kasi Bennett, following a heavily hinted Snapchat image of the couple on holiday. The sweet snap was accompanied by the caption “She said yes”, complete with emojis of a bride and a love heart.
“I’m not engaged. Me and my girlfriend, we went on a trip to Bora Bora and we took a picture and somebody edited my Snapchat, and edited it, and it said, ‘she said yes’ with a ring and a mad face and stuff and I was like [shocked face], it was well done though. It was well done, you know what I mean,” he explained.
Despite there being no talk of wedding bells anytime soon, it hasn’t stopped Usain’s mum from hoping she will be a grandmother in the near future. “My mum is pressuring me. I was like, ‘mum just let me retire and I’ll get there,'” he said.
Unbelievable: Maria Sharapova says she got mobbed in the Olympic village cafeteria
Many players prefer not to stay at the Olympic village as other athletes tend to get a little star struck at coming face to face with high profile superstars. Maria Sharapova got a taste of this herself when she went into the cafeteria at the Olympic village.
Sharapova is the highest earning female athlete in the world and a global superstar. “I’m usually pretty naïve about like people’s knowledge of me, my career, what I’ve achieved,” Sharapova told the press after her first round win on Sunday in London.
“I try to be pretty humble about it, but the biggest mistake I’ve made in a long time was entering the cafeteria. I didn’t walk out eating any food. I barely got an orange juice. It was quite funny. Actually, I didn’t sign any autographs, it was just pictures. I felt like a little statue.”