Hamilton condemns F1 fans booing Verstappen: ‘We’re better than that’

Red Bull driver Verstappen was booed and jeered by the crowd during his post-qualifying interview at Parc Ferme on Saturday after qualifying second for the British Grand Prix.

There was also cheering from the crowd as Verstappen spun early in Q3 and exited Stowe.

Verstappen brushed off the boos when he later spoke at the FIA ​​press conference, saying it was “a bit disappointing” that he couldn’t hear interviewer Billy Monger.

“If you want to boo, do it,” said Verstappen. “It won’t change anything for me. I’m happy to always be here. It’s a great track, great atmosphere in general.

“Maybe some of them don’t like me, but that’s okay. You all have your own opinion.

Verstappen defeated Hamilton in a bitter battle for the championship in Abu Dhabi last year, winning the title in controversial fashion after the safety car failed to restart before the final lap.

But Hamilton made it clear he didn’t agree with the booing at his home Grand Prix, saying: “I think we’re better than that.

“I would say we don’t have to boo but we have such amazing fans and our sports fans, they feel emotions, ups and downs, but I definitely don’t agree with booing.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“I don’t think we have to do that. It also doesn’t make any difference if you boo someone, they already made the mistakes or whatever.

“But I really appreciate the support I’ve had here. I don’t know, maybe some of them still feel the pain from last year. Either way, I don’t agree.”

It’s not the first time the Hamilton-Verstappen rivalry has been booed. At last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton was booed by the crowd after her crash at Silverstone.

A number of drivers have spoken out about insults they have received from fans over the past few weeks. On Thursday, George Russell revealed he had been booed by a random fan in Montreal and demanded that abuse be “stopped”.

“We shouldn’t see boos in any sport,” said Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff after qualifying.

“I find it unsportsmanlike. It’s clear we love the support from the riders here and the team, that’s fantastic, and the enthusiasm. But if you’re not into the other guys, then just shut up. That would be a good way.”

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“The booing, I don’t think any of the drivers deserve a booing, whatever happened last year, no matter the competition.”

Although Wolff said it was good that fans were “emotionally connected to F1”, he said the booing was “a step further”.

“Imagine you’re out there giving an interview or standing on the podium, being booed is offensive,” Wolff said.

“That’s why emotional sport is controversial. [If] Whether you’re a fan or not of one or the other driver, that’s good. But there’s a certain line that we shouldn’t cross.”