The podium girl at the centre of the ‘Spraygate’ debacle in the days following the Chinese Grand Prix has defused the situation by saying that she was not bothered by Lewis Hamilton’s actions.
After winning the race in Shanghai last Sunday, Hamilton sprayed Liu Siying with champagne during the podium ceremony, with pictures emerging of her looking uncomfortable.
Anti-sexism campaign Object spoke out about the incident, claiming that Hamilton abused Ms Siying’s position on the podium.
Speaking to shanghaidaily.com, Siying said that she was not bothered by Hamilton’s actions on the podium, and that the story had been exaggerated by foreign media.
“It lasted for only one or two seconds, and I did not think too much about it at all,” Siying said. “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.”
Hamilton was asked about the incident during today’s press conference ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, and said that he saw nothing untoward about what he did given that Ms Siying did not feel offended.
“My actions are through excitement,” Hamilton said. “This is Formula 1, it’s the pinnacle of motorsport, I’d just won a grand prix for the team and… I usually see it as a fun thing.
“I would never intend to disrespect someone or try to embarrass someone like that. I don’t really know the reasons why people are starting to bring those kind of things up but this is a sport that so many people love and the more we show character and fun, perhaps it reflects just how great this sport is.
“That’s what I try to do. I don’t really know what to say about it. It hasn’t really affected me and it’s nice to know that the lady wrote in.
“If it had been the other way and she’d wrote in and she was really unhappy, then perhaps there would be more concern.”