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Lewis Hamilton Formula One star says Snapchat antics not disrespectful

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton has stopped short of apologising for playing on Snapchat during a press conference.

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Lewis Hamilton has defended playing on Snapchat during the drivers' press conference on Thursday ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton drew criticism after spending part of the media briefing adding cartoonish animal features to his own face, and that of Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz, using the popular mobile application.

But the Briton - trailing Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by 23 points in the drivers' standings after an engine blowout in Malaysia - insists he was merely trying to break the monotony of what he sees as a tired press conference format.

"Today was meant to be fun, not at all disrespectful," he wrote on Twitter. "Some people take themselves too seriously. I had a blast, highlight of my day!

"Re [the] press conference, it's been the same for 10 years. It's not the media or mediator, it's the format. Fans should be asking the questions!

"Lastly, Japan is one of my favourite places. I admire their culture and values as people. Please visit if you can, there's no place like it."

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