Lewis Hamilton blankly denied reports he blew nearly $400,000 on a personalised number plate. Reports earlier this week suggested the 23-year-old McLaren driver is now the owner of the plate 'LEW 1S'.

At a news conference ahead of the French grand prix, Briton Hamilton said the reports were untrue. "No. Absolutely no interest. That sounds about the worst number plate I've ever heard of.

"I'm not stupid enough to spend a couple of hundred grand on a bloody number plate," he insisted.

"I wouldn't spend a hundred pounds on a number plate. A number plate's a number plate. It doesn't mean nothing to me."

Original: Lewis Hamilton has reportedly spent an eye-watering nearly $400,000 for a personalised number-plate. The British formula one driver is now the flamboyant owner of the plate 'LEW 1S', which he will attach to his black 4x4 Mercedes-Benz for use in Switzerland, his adopted tax-haven home.

The plate was formerly owned by property tycoon Bob Lewis, who bought it last year for less than $100,000.

"A friend said he had been reluctant to part with the plate but (Hamilton's) offer had been too good to refuse," the British newspaper Daily Telegraph revealed.

In contrast, Hamilton's track rival Nick Heidfeld has vowed to pledge some of his earnings to a worthy cause.

"I am lucky to have quite a lot of money and I would like to be able to give some of it away," the German told ITV.

Heidfeld, who drives for BMW-Sauber, said he is considering pledging some money towards an invention that would clean water for underprivileged people.

"That's something I find very interesting and its something I'm considering," he added.

In other brief news, it has emerged that McLaren race team member Steve Hewitt had a ride in the medical helicopter to hospital during the Montreal weekend after he hurt his thumb in the paddock.

The thumb was not broken as feared, and Hewitt returned to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a stitch or two, Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell reports. (GMM)