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DATE News (chronologically)
04/16/09
f1
Whitmarsh defends Hamilton's media no-show  
Martin Whitmarsh
(GMM) McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has defended the decision to keep Lewis Hamilton out of the spotlight on the 'media day' Thursday activities at Shanghai.

At a time when formula one is attempting to be more fan-friendly and transparent, the British team did not organize any time for the reigning world champion to speak with the press corps.

Amid the 'lie-gate' scandal, it is suggested that Hamilton's radio silence, and Ron Dennis' announcement on the same day that he is stepping back from all team involvement, was no coincidence.

Rumors indicate an increasingly broken relationship between the Hamilton camp - particularly the 24-year-old's father-manager Anthony - and Dennis, worsened by the damage done to Lewis' image by the lying affair.

Pre-event reports from China have suggested that Hamilton's failure to front the media on Thursday may actually be a breach of FIA regulations.

Whitmarsh, 50, said the Briton will be available to the media later this weekend.

"It's a question of the extent to which he will be available, and I think all we're asking is please understand that Lewis is here to go motor racing," he told reporters in Shanghai.

Whitmarsh explained that the decision to shield Hamilton on Thursday is related to the questions he would have been asked about the forthcoming World Motor Sport Council hearing.

"He can't get drawn into those things. There is a balance, and we will try, with you guys, to find the right balance," he told the press.
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