Shanghai model defends Formula One star Lewis Hamilton over champagne drenching
Liu Siying says she “did not think too much about” being soaked in alcohol by the British Formula 1 champion
A Shanghai woman who made headlines when Lewis Hamilton doused her with champagne after Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix has defended the British driver.
The Formula 1 world champion faced accusations of sexism after a photograph went viral on the internet showing him spraying the head of the Chinese “podium model” with alcohol.
Chinese internet users lashed out at Mr Hamilton’s behaviour and one British newspaper described the racing driver as a “loser”.
“Hamilton is trash,” fumed one user of Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter.
However, Liu Siying, the 22-year-old model in question, played down the incident which took place after the Mercedes driver beat Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg to win the Shanghai Grand Prix.
“It lasted for only one or two seconds, and I did not think too much about it at all,” Ms Liu told the Shanghai Daily newspaper.
“I think some foreign media are more sensitive about the topic compared to local media,” Ms Liu added. “I was just told by my employer to stand on the podium, and that’s what I did.”
Mr Hamilton has yet to comment publicly on the controversy.
“Had an amazing weekend in Shanghai,” he wrote to his 2.7 million Twitter followers on Wednesday. “Now on to Bahrain!”