By Alan Baldwin
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton has one big fight on his hands already this season and he is not spoiling for another, not even for charity and against the man with the broadest smile in Formula One.
The Mercedes driver, 36 points behind team mate Nico Rosberg after three races won by the German, was asked at the Russian Grand Prix about Australian Daniel Ricciardo's invitation to take part in a charity boxing bout.
"Seems I'm not the only one throwing hands these days. Charity match?," the smiling Red Bull driver said on Twitter earlier in the year with a photo of himself strapping his fists for a gym workout.
Hamilton had added boxing training to his winter workouts pre-season.
Ricciardo then posted a video on Instagram this week showing more sparring with the comment: "Trying to improve my skills before a hopeful charity match at the end of the year. (I've asked Lewis hopefully he can be convinced)."
The Briton was clear that would not be happening.
"I quite like my face the way it is. Fighting someone you don’t like is easy. I like Daniel, so there’s no reason to fight him," he said.
"I’d rather just give the money to charity. Why the hell am I going to risk this, man?," he added, pointing to his face.
Sunday's race around Sochi's Olympic Park circuit will be another matter, with Hamilton chasing a hat-trick of Russian wins to end Rosberg's run of six straight victories -- three of them at the end of last season.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)