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Sulky Lewis Hamilton snaps at Japanese GP reporter over Ferrari question

Lewis Hamilton limped to ninth in the 2024 Japanese GP as he was outshone by Ferrari and Mercedes teammate George Russell

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Lewis Hamilton shut down a journalist after the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, challenging whether he had anything better to ask with the seven-time champion unimpressed by a line of questioning around Ferrari.

Hamilton‘s ninth-place finish at Suzuka means he’s scored just 10 points from the opening four rounds of the season and barely sits in the top half of the championship with Mercedes seemingly well behind McLaren and Ferrari, let alone Red Bull.

However, while the W15 is yet to finish in the top four, George Russell has scored 24 points and fought past Oscar Piastri on the final lap of the Japanese GP in a battling performance that consummately outshone his teammate.

Hamilton is leaving for Ferrari at the end of the season to replace Carlos Sainz, who’s taken a win and two other podiums from his only three grand prix in 2024, but the Brit denied he was jealous of the Scuderia with a one-word answer post-race.

He also gave a curt ‘ok’ to the question “How was it for you today?”, but finally snapped when asked “Are you looking forward to being with them? Because they’re faster?”, hitting back: “Do you have any better questions?”.

Hamilton: Ninth place was the Suzuka maximum

Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Japanese GP | Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Japanese GP | Mercedes

Mercedes opted to take two new sets of hard tyres and just one medium into the race for both Hamilton and Russell, and the team committed to effectively a one-stop strategy with a double-stint on the hards after the first-lap red flag.

However, that backfired with neither driver able to unlock any pace on that rubber and were out of contention for any serious points. The team switched to a charge on the mediums in the final stages but though Russell was able to catch and pass Piastri, Hamilton never looked like rising up from ninth.

Hamilton had praised FP1 at Suzuka as his ‘best session of the season’ but could only offer up first-lap contact with Charles Leclerc as an explanation for his poor pace when asked if there was anything else Mercedes could’ve done to improve the result.

“Nothing I don’t think, I don’t know what the different strategy would’ve been,” Hamilton told Sky Sports. “We still had two really terrible hard tyres to run through so yeah real damage today. I think I picked up some damage from Charles at the start, I had huge understeer for the first stint.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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