Japanese Grand Prix 2016: Hamilton storms off from press conference after Snapchat criticism

Hamilton said he was involved in "super light-hearted thing" when he was using snapchat during the drivers' conference on Thursday.

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton was seen fiddling with his phone during the drivers' conference on Thursday Reuters

Lewis Hamilton walked out of a press conference after the Japanese Grand Prix 2016 qualifying on Saturday, days after he drew flak for fiddling with his smartphone during the official drivers' conference.

On Thursday, Hamilton, who was seated in the front row of the press conference along with his former Mercedes teammate Fernando Alonso and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, was using Snapchat on his phone to make funny faces of Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz.

Not being able to control his laughter, the Brit showed the faces he made with the app to Alonso and Sainz. The Brit then reportedly said he found it funny and that he wanted to keep adding new things to the routine press conferences.

An irked Hamilton refused to take any questions on Saturday, saying what he did on Thursday was a "super light-hearted thing" and called the way in which it was reported in the media, "disrespectful".

"I am not actually here to answer your questions, I have decided," Hamilton was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

"With the utmost respect there are many of you here who are super-supportive of me and I know who they are. There are others who unfortunately often take advantage of certain things. The other day was a super light-hearted thing.

"If I was disrespectful to any of you guys, or if you felt that I was disrespectful, it was honestly not the intention. It was just a little bit fun. But what was more disrespectful is what was then written, worldwide.

"But I do not really plan on sitting here many more times for these kind of things. So my apologies and I hope you guys enjoy the rest of the weekend."

Hamilton conceded the pole position for Sunday's race at the Suzuka to his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by a margin of 0.013s. With only five races to go in the ongoing season, the Brit needs a win to cut the German's lead at the top of the driver standings.

However, Hamilton said he would take confidence from the fact that he had started second in the last two years' races at the Suzuka only to finish at the top step of the podium on both the occasions.

It would be interesting to see how the defending world champion recovers from the Malaysian Grand Prix engine fire, that forced his exit after he had enjoyed a successful conversion of pole to lead until the 43rd lap. Notably, the Mercedes driver lashed out at his constructors at Sepang demanding an explanation for frequent engine failures.