Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has defended Lewis Hamilton following criticism of the Briton's no-show at Formula One London Live, labelling the media's subsequent coverage as an insult.
Hamilton faced a barrage of criticism in the wake of his decision to miss the F1 live event in London, instead opting to take a two-day break in Greece ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix. One-hundred thousand people attended the first demo in the UK's capital for over a decade, with all 10 F1 teams and 19 drivers from this year's grid taking part.
The three-time world champion -- who claimed his fifth pole position at Silverstone on Saturday -- was booed on occasions when his name was mentioned on stage during Wednesday's event in Trafalgar Square, while he faced a media backlash and was pressed to explain his absence in Thursday's drivers' press conference.
"He took a decision for his championship and the way he has been treated by certain media is wrong and not fair," Wolff told reporters after qualifying. "Before his home race at Silverstone and after rough weekends in Baku and Austria, to treat the local superstar in that way is absolutely against how l see things.
"Of course people are not happy, the people that came. I wouldn't be happy if I go there and the guy that I was trying to see is not there. But questioning whether a three-time world champion, who has just broken [Ayrton Senna's] all-time pole record, and who is going to beat Schumacher's record, understands how to prepare himself is an insult."
Wolff was left unimpressed by rumours of unrest between Hamilton and Mercedes, with suggestions that the team had been opposed to Hamilton skipping the London demo. There were also claims Hamilton had been angered by Wolff's attendance at Sebastian Vettel's recent 30th birthday party.
"The dynamics are great. There were rubbish stories that there were some relationship problems between Lewis and the team and Lewis and myself. I give him freedom to organise his days in the way he wants.
"If he feels being away from Formula One environment, being with his friends, helps him extract performance then so be it. I am perfectly fine with it and l was always perfectly fine with it. We flagged the risk that it could be seen as not right not to attend the events. But in the team there was never an issue and between us there was never an issue."