The boos and jeers echoed throughout the grandstand opposite of the start-finish straight at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday as Max Verstappen did his post-qualifying interview after snagging P2.
While the Red Bull driver found the reaction “a bit disappointing” because he couldn’t hear Billy Monger’s questions, he largely brushed off the negative reaction itself.
"If they want to boo, they do that,” Verstappen said. “For me, it’s not going to change anything. 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 fine. They all have their own opinions. I don’t care.”
Lewis Hamilton, though, took a moment to criticize how the F1 fans reacted. He responded, per Autosport, “I think we are better than that.
“I would say we don’t need to do booing, but we have got such great fans and our sporting fans, they feel emotions, ups and downs, but I definitely don’t agree with booing. I don’t think we need to do that. It doesn’t make any difference when you boo someone either, they have already made the mistakes or whatever it is. But I really do appreciate the support I have had here. I don’t know, maybe some of them are still feeling the pain from last year still. Either way, I don’t agree.”
During the 2021 British Grand Prix, Verstappen and Hamilton had a dramatic collision that intensified the tension between the two title contenders. The Mercedes driver faced similar negative reaction at multiple events last season, and Verstappen commented at the time that he did not feel it was up to him to tell fans at the Dutch Grand Prix to not boo.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff sided with Hamilton after qualifying on Saturday, saying he felt the booing was “unsportsmanlike.”
“It’s clear we love the support the drivers have here and the enthusiasm, that’s fantastic,” Wolff said, per ESPN. “But if you are not into the other guys I think it’s best to remain silent. I think that’s the best way. The booing, I think none of the drivers deserve booing, no matter what happened last year.”
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