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Lewis Hamilton called sexist for champagne antics, but fans rush to his defence

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton's champagne antics after winning last weekend's Grand Prix in Shanghai, China, are causing his loyal fans to jump to his defence while others accuse the driver of sexism.

Formula One champ's bubbly blast in face of podium hostess riles some observers

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain sprays champagne at a hostess as he celebrates his victory on the podium after the grand prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton's champagne antics after winning last weekend's Shanghai Grand Prix in are causing his loyal fans to jump to his defence while others accuse the driver of sexism.

After his win, Hamilton celebrated by cracking open a bottle of champagne and spraying it around the podium. Some photos captured a race hostess being hosed in the face with champagne.

As photos of the celebration spread online, some people criticized Lewis's behaviour. 

Others jumped to the driver's defence, saying that champagne celebrations on the podium are a normal part of Formula One races.

On the same day, Hamilton also sprayed third-place winner Sebastian Vettel, who drives for Ferrari, and face-spraying antics are common among drivers on Formula One podiums.

It's not always drivers who get drenched during the festivities. About a month prior, Hamilton surprised some spectators during the podium ceremony after the Australian Grand Prix.

Even Formula One legend Jackie Stewart, who claimed 27 Grand Prix wins, wasn't safe at Australia's Albert Park circuit. Hamilton and his teammate Nico Rosberg turned on him with their champagne.

It's not the first time a grand prix hostess has been drenched by Hamilton. Last year, he sprayed champagne at grid girls after winning a race at the same circuit.

Sometimes the women aren't the intended targets, but get splashed accidentally. That happened when Red Bull driver Mark Webber tried to spray his team's technical chief a few years ago.

On Sunday, Hamilton felt a return blast of champagne on his face, thanks to third-place driver Vettel.

And, it doesn't seem to bother Hamilton too much. He's even done it to himself before, at the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, in 2014.

With this type of celebration being such a regular part of post-race festivities, many felt it was a bit much to call Hamilton's actions sexist.

Others, however, wondered if it might be time to phase out podium girls altogether. 

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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