Lewis Hamilton has backtracked after enthusiastically hailing the return of Formula 1 'grid girls'.
Despite new F1 owner Liberty Media having banned 'grid girls' for 2018, organisers of the grands prix in Monaco and Russia indicated that they would bring beautiful women back to the sport this year.
Hamilton responded by adding the caption 'Thank you Jesus' to an Instagram post about the news, but the post stirred up a controversy and the Mercedes driver deleted it.
According to AFP news agency, he said in Bahrain: "It was just a joke.
"I saw this publication about beautiful girls coming back and said 'Thank you Jesus'. But honestly it doesn't interest me."
Hamilton finished third in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.