Global Motorsport Media
Second place improved Lewis Hamilton's mood in Korea, but not much.
The unshaved 2008 world champion was strangely miserable as he started from pole in Sunday's Grand Prix, but he at least managed some small smiles after finishing the race behind Sebastian Vettel.
His mood, however, had triggered some wild speculation, including that he has split with his girlfriend, joined the celebrity religion Scientology, or had a raging row with his McLaren bosses.
On the latter theory, Hamilton told reporters: "Whoever wrote that, it's a load of rubbish; I am very happy."
But he also admitted that a single second place was not going to completely brighten his misery after what he calls the "worst year" of his career.
"So if you expect me to be all happy-doolally after a race like that you're not going to hear it," said the 26-year-old.
On Monday, the British Mirror and Daily Mail tabloids are reporting that Hamilton is on the verge of splitting with his Pussycat Dolls girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.
But the British driver on Sunday indicated that it is the specialist motoring publications that worry him the most.
"Time will tell," Hamilton said when asked if his performance had "redeemed" him after a run of bad races.
If you expect me to be all happy-doolally after a race like that you're not going to hear it
"It depends what you guys write. It depends how people perceive how the race went, how my attitude is, how I behaved. I am sure it is a few brownie points that I scored.
"It's (about) positivity, positive stories, positive fans, it's standing on the podium smiling. It's that energy that you get that stays with you until the next race and then you do it again," he added.