Lewis Hamilton disagreed with the cheers Max Verstappen received from parts of the British Grand Prix crowd, while Verstappen himself found them “a little disappointing” – but not because of the sentiment itself.
Verstappen won the 2021 Formula 1 crown over Silverstone home hero Hamilton in ultra-controversial circumstances – and after a rivalry that turned personal and serious towards the end of the season.
And since Hamilton was booed especially loudly by Verstappen’s ardent fanbase in last year’s Dutch GP (and also in the Hungarian GP earlier that season), it was hardly surprising that the favor returned at Silverstone, as the Dutchman finished second in Carlos Sainz in the qualification.
“I think we are better than that,” said Hamilton when he heard Verstappen was booed. “I’d say we don’t have to do any booing.
“We have such great fans, our sports fans, they feel emotions up and down. But I absolutely disagree with buoys.
“I don’t think we should do that. We should be here, pushing everyone. It doesn’t matter when you scold someone – they’ve already made the mistake or whatever it is, so…
“But I really appreciate the support I have here. And maybe some of them are still feeling the pain of last year.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff came out strongly against the crowd’s actions.
“I don’t think we should see booing in any sport,” said Wolff. “I think that’s unsportsmanlike.
“Obviously we love the support the drivers have here and the team, it’s fantastic, and the enthusiasm.
“But if you don’t like the other boys, just keep quiet. I think that would be a good way.
“None of the drivers deserve booing – whatever happened last year, whatever the competition is.”
Verstappen didn’t see Hamilton’s booing as a big problem in 2021 – and ultimately stayed true to his philosophy this time at Silverstone, although the booing did prove to be a bit of a nuisance.
“It was a bit disappointing because I didn’t really understand Billy [Monger, conducting the post-session interviews]’ said Verstappen when asked about the cheers. “It was a bit of a problem.
“But the rest [of it]…if they want to captivate, they can. It won’t change anything for me.
“I am always happy to be here. It’s a great job, it’s a great atmosphere overall. Maybe some of them don’t like me, but that’s fine.
“They all have their own opinion, you know? I do not care.”
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