After Formula 1 qualifying at Silverstone, Max Verstappen faced the usual interview with the top 3 drivers. But then he was booed by the fans in the stands. Verstappen’s last year’s World Cup rival Lewis Hamilton has no understanding for this, as he explained afterwards.
Hamilton said: “I think we’re better than that. I would say the booing doesn’t need it. We have [in Silverstone] but such great and also such sporty fans. They feel emotions, ups and downs, but I definitely don’t condone the booing. We shouldn’t do that.”
Also, says Hamilton, you get absolutely nothing by booing. “That [Buhen] doesn’t matter because the person has already made the mistake or whatever the reason for it,” said the seven-time world champion.
“I really appreciate the support I enjoy here. Maybe one or the other will still feel the pain from last year, I have no idea. But either way: I think so [Buhen] not good.”
Wolff considers booing to be “unsporting”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff thinks similarly and says: “Nobody should boo someone in sport. I think that’s unsportsmanlike.”
“Obviously we love the support our drivers and team have here. It’s fantastic. That’s what enthusiasm looks like. But if you can’t get excited about the others then you should just be calm. That would be good.”
According to Wolff, no driver deserves to be booed, “no matter what happened last year and no matter what it’s about,” said the former racing driver.
How Verstappen himself reacts to the booing
Verstappen himself says he was “a little disappointed” with the boos, but mainly because he “didn’t really understand” interview moderator Billy Monger.
“Other than that, I think to myself: if you want to boo, you’ll do it. That doesn’t change anything for me. I’m still happy to be here. Silverstone is a great track with a generally great atmosphere,” says Verstappen.
“Maybe some people don’t like me here, but that’s okay. Everyone has their own opinion. And I don’t care.”
Wolff recognizes a “limit”
Wolff even sees something positive in the situation: “People react emotionally to the drivers and types, and we want emotions. Everyone is emotional instead of conflicted. I prefer the emotional.”
“However, the booing goes one step further. Because you have to imagine yourself standing down there giving an interview or standing on the podium. Being booed is hurtful. You have to make that clear to the people. And that’s why the emotional side of the sport is also controversial.”
“If you’re not a fan of one or the other driver, then that’s fine,” says Wolff. He adds: “But there is a certain limit and we should not exceed that.”
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