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Bored Lewis wants to talk to the fans; MOTORSPORT.

A DISTRACTED Lewis Hamilton shut down talk of his engine horror show in Malaysia as he fooled around on his phone in a bizarre press conference ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who trails team-mate Nico Rosberg by 23 points in the title race, was leading in Sepang when his engine blew up with just 15 laps remaining on Sunday.

But the incident, which provoked a furious Hamilton to question his own Mercedes camp, appeared far removed from the Briton's mind in Suzuka.

At one stage, Hamilton, who was joined in the press conference by five other drivers - including Fernando Alonso and British rookie Jolyon Palmer - wiped away tears of laughter using his sleeve as he uploaded a number of short videos to his Snapchat account.

Using a filter application on his phone, Hamilton, 31, posted a video in which he was "wearing" drawn-on rabbit ears, whiskers and carrots, Hamilton also took a video of Carlos Sainz, sitting behind him, before adding a fake fox's ears and nose to the Spaniard's face.

With the press conference ongoing, and being aired live on television, Hamilton showed the videos to Alonso and Sainz who each shared a smile.

Asked what was so amusing, Hamilton said: "It's quite funny. Just some snaps of us drivers. We've been doing this (format of press conferences) a long, long time and it's the same. Just got to keep adding new things to it."

Later, while standing at the back of the Mercedes motorhome as his title rival Rosberg conducted his media duties, Hamilton posted a video of the team's communications officer Bradley Lord, also adding fake fox's ears and nose.

Later, Hamilton moved to explain his odd behaviour.

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

"Re 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!" On Snapchat he then added: "Regarding last post, I realise now how some people have perceived it, media particularly. I was in tears.

"Still, there's no need to get emotional about it."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:5BERM
Date:Oct 7, 2016
Words:369
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