A Formula One driver is slammed for spraying a hostess in the face with a champagne bottle after winning the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday. Lewis Hamilton won his second race in three to start the 2015 season, but his podium celebrations have drawn some criticism, according to The Straits Times. A leading group which campaigns against sexism has condemned the behavior as “selfish and inconsiderate,” saying he should be forced to apologize for “specially directing” the bubbly into the woman’s face.
“I’m glad this Formula One driver is getting slammed. I was a fan until this happened. How indecent,” one fan said.
Roz Hardie, chief executive of Object, a campaign on media sexism and “sex object culture.”
“The photographs appear to show that the woman is not just being splashed, but that the champagne is being very specifically directed into her face, which does not look like a voluntary piece of horseplay on her part. If this is the case we think Lewis Hamilton should apologize for his actions and think carefully about how he behaves in the future. For most people, it would be apparent that she is not enjoying it,” Hardie said.
“It is surely a very difficult position to be a grid girl and she would have had little option but to stand there and take it. That is something of which he should be aware. But instead, he appears to have abused her position. It’s unfortunate that a great victory has been marred by what appears to be selfish and inconsiderate behavior.”
The Formula One driver was slammed by Hardie because she said the episode highlighted the more general issue of women being viewed as sexual objects in the motoring world, according to Mashable.
“Motor racing appears to unnecessarily portray women as sexualized objects and that probably makes it even harder for the women to stand up for themselves. We would hope people in the industry would be respectful to these women,” she said.
On Twitter, Lewis Hamilton was described as a “bully” and “disgusting.” Another user simply said: “Man please stop spraying Champagne on the Podium Ladies. They don’t like it,” while one outraged user said he was a “scumbag - an embarrassment to UK.” Another wrote: “Have a bit more respect for the ladies please. Spraying Champagne in her face was out of order,” notes 3AW 693 News Talk.
It is not the first time the racing icon has whipped out his victory move. He celebrated in a similar fashion after winning Spanish Grand Prix last year, which was his fourth consecutive win in a row and the one that finally put him on top of the driver’s standings.
And although he lost the Austrian Grand Prix to teammate Nico Rosberg, he didn’t shy away from popping the cork directly at a hostess. The 30-year-old was even asked to demonstrate his champagne skills on Graham Norton’s talk show in 2013.
But not everyone was offended by his behaviour. Many found his actions amusing, while another said: “I can think of worse things to happen at work than getting sprayed in the face with champagne.”
But this isn’t the first time the Formula One driver has been slammed.
Last year, he posted photos of a ski trip just days after a horrific accident left racing legend Michael Schumacher in a coma. Lewis Hamilton has faced scrutiny for posting the pictures on his Instagram account, some users calling him insensitive. He was seen laughing and joking on the slopes in the photos.
Many of the 28-year-old Mercedes star’s followers said the pictures were “inappropriate” because of Schumacher’s current condition. The seven-times World Champion remains in a coma after hitting his head on a rock while skiiing in the French Alps on Sunday.
“Very insensitive given a certain ex race driver’s current condition in hospital,” said one of Hamilton’s critics. “Inconsiderate, overrated d***, you’ll never be a great like Schumacher,” added another.
The Formula One driver was slammed by a third person, stating: “Imagine that Hamilton would have an accident anywhere anytime (God save him) and one F1 pilot shows a picture enjoying the place where he had the accident. Come on man. That’s what I mean. Is not pertinent, not now.”
German Formula one driver Michael Schumacher slipped into a coma following a skiing accident in the French Alps.