Lewis Hamilton starts F1 season as favourite to retain title
Lewis Hamilton has been grilled by international media over his antics in New Zealand ahead of this Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.
Upon arriving in Melbourne yesterday, the world champion F1 driver refused to entertain questions about the police investigation which has clouded the build-up to the defence of his crown.
The 31-year-old Briton faced a police probe after he posted a number of videos to his Snapchat account while riding a motorbike in New Zealand earlier this week.
Police in Auckland chose not to take any further action against the three-time world champion, citing a lack of 'sufficient evidence'. It has been illegal to use a mobile phone while driving a vehicle in New Zealand since 2009.
Asked if he felt he had a responsibility not to use his mobile phone whilst on a motorbike, Hamilton replied: "I don't really have much of an answer for you unfortunately."
Hamilton, who was using his phone throughout Thursday's press conference, was then asked if he felt he should set a better example.
"Once again I don't really have much of an answer for you," Hamilton, 31, said.
Hamilton, speaking ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, was quoted as saying, "there's still more to come from me", in a Mercedes press release.
Asked about his earlier statement, Hamilton who is bidding to become the first British driver to win four world championships, said: "I don't remember saying that, but OK. Cool, good, I hope there is.
"You are always searching for perfection, always learning, always growing, both inside and outside of the sport so I am just looking forward to that journey.
"I don't know what is to come, I don't know what or when I am going to be growing, and I guess that is the same for every single one of us. You are always looking for that perfect lap, looking for the perfect race and looking to raise the bar."
Hamilton will start the new season as the favourite to win his fourth crown after romping to last year's title. But the Brit expects Ferrari, led by Sebastian Vettel's challenge, to be able to provide a sterner test for his Mercedes team this season.
"The whole pack looks like it is going to be closer," Hamilton added. "I think they have got something up their sleeve, personally this weekend.
"Ferrari are going to be a lot closer than they talk about, arriving on a low but leaving on a high."
Vettel, winner of three races last season, added: 'I think we are on a good track and we are making progress.
"We did so last year and we made a step over the winter but whether it is big enough or not, we have to wait and see.
"Going into this season, I don't think it is a surprise that Mercedes are still the favourite, but we will try to become the favourite in the future."