How To Handle A Formula One Press Conference You Don't Want To Attend

Photo credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Most racing press conferences are pointless. Drivers rarely say anything more detailed than “our car feels really quick,” or “we have a five-place grid penalty, but we’re going to make the most of it.” We here at Jalopnik get bored of them, too! Here’s how we would handle the monotonous task of giving vague non-answers to questions.

Much to our amusement, Lewis Hamilton has been requested to attend the pre-race press conference for this week’s Formula One United States Grand Prix, per Normally, this wouldn’t be news. He’s second in the world drivers’ championship behind teammate Nico Rosberg, and his Mercedes team just clinched the constructors’ championship for 2016. At this point, you expect him to be there.


But the fact that Hamilton finds these press conferences as dull as we do came out in spectacular fashion when he hilariously Snapchatted through one before the Japanese Grand Prix. Stuffier members of the press—a.k.a. everything that’s wrong with the racing world—took offense, and Hamilton answered their misplaced outrage by walking out of the post-qualifying press conference in Japan.

Don’t get mad this time, man. Get even. Here’s our guide to on how to lighten the mood while avoiding the same old answers you’ve given all season long.

Only Say Why You’re There As An Answer To Everything

We’re big fans of Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s press conference antics. He, too, has determined that the press conference is a bore and that he’d rather just not answer anything. The repeated phrase “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” is perhaps Lynch’s greatest contribution to modern sports media.


You’re just here so you won’t receive a sanction from the FIA, so why not just say that over and over again? Goodness knows, it’s more informative than most of what gets said in a press conference. Say too much detail and your competitors start to listen.


So, skip the details and let ‘em know why you’re really there: to keep out of trouble. That’s an acceptable answer to everything.

Please Mess With Your Colleagues

Perhaps that may feel a bit too outrageous. That’s okay. If that’s the case, take a page from Ferrari F1 driver Sebastian Vettel: troll harder.


Poke fun at your teammate. Poke fun at your on-track rivals and their teams. Make fun of dumb questions. Be blunt. Ask about other series instead of your own. Become one with the troll.


We’ve seen it in your delightful Snapchats, Lewis. We know you are talented in troll-fu when you let yourself live a little. Embrace that inner troll, and we’ll all love you for it.

Turn Everything Into A Yes Or No Question

Part of the reason these conferences last forever is because the answers are so long. Another idea is to answer everything with only one word, just to keep your contribution as short as possible.


“Yes” and “no” cover most of the bases, but there are myriad monosyllabic utterances and grunts to use if you feel like getting fancy.

Hamilton may be the primary press conference hater-in-chief, but our advice can and should be taken by every driver and team figurehead alike. After all, we’re stuck listening in on the off-chance a driver accidentally lets something of real substance slip, too.


The pre-race press conference for the United States Grand Prix is at 11:00 a.m. Central Time on Thursday.

Contributor, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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