Lewis Hamilton defended his right not to attend yesterday's F1 Live London event, saying his preparation for the British GP was better served by staying away.
Hamilton was the odd man out on Wednesday at Trafalgar Square where all his colleagues joined in the fun during the massively successful promo event.
The Mercedes driver was put on the spot in Thursday's media conference and remained somewhat defensive about his decision to pass on the F1 showpiece.
"Everyone had the right to make their own decision," said the Brit.
"It's been a pretty intense season so far and I felt for I needed to prepare the best way I could for this weekend. The season's the most important thing for me.
"I feel like I prepared the best way I could for this weekend," he said.
"People have opinions, but it's a very intense season and I'm trying to prepare for the battle ahead. I love this Grand Prix. I don't think yesterday plays a role in how great this Grand Prix is for me.
"You get people who have saved up so much to come to this Grand Prix. You will have seen from previous years how much I respect and appreciate that. And that doesn't change."
Interestingly, Hamilton said he informed the organisers and Mercedes of his decision not to attend the London event before the Austrian Grand Prix, suggesting that last weekend's disappointing outcome had no impact on his plans.
"I told the organisers last week that I wouldn't be going. I spoke to Toto [Wolff, Mercedes boss], informed the team, and they were very understanding and respectful."
Underling the importance of his preparation for his all-important home race, Hamilton was asked if a round-trip to Greece, where he partied, was better preparation than staying in the UK.
"In terms of flying, I don't live here so I wouldn't have been here anyway as I live in Monaco. But I fly a lot longer than that for trips and I usually arrive feeling pretty good."