Lewis Hamilton to miss open media call to attend Karl Lagerfeld memorial event in Paris
Hamilton given permission by Mercedes to attend memorial service for fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld in Paris
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 20/06/19 8:08pm
Lewis Hamilton was absent from Thursday's media day ahead of the French GP owing to his attendance at Karl Lagerfeld's memorial event.
Hamilton was a close friend of German fashion designer Lagerfeld, who died aged 85 earlier this year after battling heart, lung and kidney problems.
The Mercedes driver requested permission to attend the memorial event in Paris on Thursday and this was granted by Toto Wolff. He will arrive at Paul Ricard later in the day.
The five-time world champion posted a tribute to Lagerfeld on social media in February, writing: "Karl, your creativity and imprint on fashion will live forever. God bless you. Rest in Peace."
The 34-year-old has always been keen on wider interests away from the sport, and having built up a relationship with Lagerfeld during his life, Hamilton will be present for the planned memorial as part of Paris Men's Fashion Week at the Grand Palais.
The late fashion designer requested that there be no public funeral, only a private service in Nanterre, at the time of his death meaning Thursday was an opportunity for those who knew him to attend a commemorative ceremony
It is the second time that Hamilton has recently opted out of his media obligations, following the death of Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda last month prior to the Monaco Grand Prix.
Hamilton will look to extend his World Championship advantage this weekend, but Thursday's media day will no doubt focus on the fallout from events in Canada a fortnight ago, and the controversial penalty for Sebastian Vettel.
The German was demoted to second behind Hamilton after the stewards punished him with a five-second penalty for running off the circuit at the third corner before rejoining the track in an "unsafe manner".
Vettel heads into this week's race at the Paul Ricard Circuit 62 points adrift of championship leader Hamilton - and Ferrari's case to review the five-second penalty which lost their driver the Canadian Grand Prix will be heard on Friday afternoon.
Sky Sports F1 is the home of live and exclusive F1. Find out more here to watch the 2019 season live