Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2022

Hamilton ‘definitely doesn’t agree’ with Silverstone fans booing Verstappen

2022 British Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he didn’t agree with the fans who booed Max Verstappen after qualifying for the British Grand Prix, but suspects some of them are “feeling the pain from last year.”

Verstappen narrowly beat Hamilton to last year’s world championship in highly controversial circumstances. The pair also clashed on several occasions, including at Silverstone, though Hamilton was able to win the race after Verstappen crashed out at high speed.

Jeers greeted Verstappen after he qualified second on the grid for this weekend’s race. But Hamilton told the Silverstone fans “I think we’re better than that.”

“I would say we don’t need to do booing. We’ve got such great fans and our sporting fans, they feel emotions up and down. But I don’t I definitely don’t agree with booing and I don’t think we need to do that.

“We should be here pushing everybody,” he added. “It doesn’t make any difference when you boo someone. They’ve already made the mistake or whatever it is.”

Hamilton suspects the strength of feeling against Verstappen has arisen from last year’s controversial championship fight.

“I really do appreciate the support that I have here,” he said. “Maybe some of them are feeling the pain from last year still. And so either way, I appreciate it.”

Hamilton’s Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff echoed his words. “I think we shouldn’t be seeing any booing in any sports,” he said. “I think that’s unsportsmanlike.

“It’s clear that we love the support the drivers have here, and the team, that’s fantastic, the enthusiasm. But if you’re not into the others just remain silent, I think that would be a good way.

“The booing, I think none of the drivers deserve any booing, whatever happened last year, whatever the competition is.”

Wolff believes it is positive that Formula 1 arouses strong feelings in fans but said it is “abusive” to direct boos at drivers when they are on the podium or being interviewed.

“I think if you try to see the positives it’s that people are very emotional about drivers and characters and we want to create emotions, I think, rather than being down-the-middle, everybody’s a bit not emotionally engaged. I’d rather have them emotionally engaged. So that’s on the up-side.

“But having said that the booing goes a step further because I think if you imagine yourself – and I think this is what we need to tell people – if you imagine yourself standing out there and giving an interview or being on the podium, being booed is abusive.

“Being emotional, a sport that is controversial because you’re a fan and not a fan of one or the other driver, that’s good, but there is a certain limit which we shouldn’t over-step.”

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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35 comments on “Hamilton ‘definitely doesn’t agree’ with Silverstone fans booing Verstappen”

  1. but suspects some of them are “feeling the pain from last year.”

    the 51G pain?

    I do not really mind the Booing, childish behavior of fans of only one driver.
    But do not make excuses for that behavior and that is what Lewis is doing here.

    1. I think that’s an unfair comment and twisting what Lewis is saying. Respect to him and to Wolff for challenging the shameful behaviour of some so-called ‘fans’ who ruin the sport for others.

      As a sidenote, I am not a Hamilton or Mercedes fan but credit where credit is due; Hamilton and Wolff have the decency to challenge such disgraceful antics where some of the British media outlets have remained silent on it.

      1. Nasty Neutral
        2nd July 2022, 23:02

        Well, I dunno. If you read his words they is little condemnation, and after half an slimes it’s all about Hamilton himself. I’m not impressed.

        1. Nasty Neutral
          2nd July 2022, 23:03

          ‘after half an alinea’… Sorry about that.

    2. He was referring to Abu Dhabi 2021 not Silverstone

  2. Electroball76
    2nd July 2022, 17:59

    Don’t hate the playa, hate the race director

  3. “They shouldn’t be booing, but I appreciate it.” So which one is it, Lewis? :D

    1. Interestingly, there’s a discrepancy in quotes between Racefans and “another” motorsport site. In the above article it says:

      “Maybe some of them are feeling the pain from last year still. And so either way, I appreciate it.”

      On the other site it says:
      “I don’t know, maybe some of them are still feeling the pain from last year still. Either way, I don’t agree.”

      That’s quite a difference. I wonder who got it right.

      1. Sky:

        “We should be here, pushing everybody. I really do appreciate the support that I have here. Maybe some of them are feeling the pain from last year still. Either way, I appreciate it.”

        “But I really do appreciate the support that I have here. And maybe some of them are feeling the pain from last year, still.”

        If you read the several notes you see quite a different intepretation as usual.
        But i guess his “appreciate” in both quotes was aimed at the support in Silverstone he received.

    2. It’s no different from Verstappen saying – “I don’t think what he (Nelson Piquet) said is right, but he isn’t racist” (paraphrased).

      I hope you also challenged that.

      1. You are confusing the content or the message with the form of the message, and so your assessment is technically wrong. It is a classic case of apples and oranges.

        1. content “of” the message

      2. First of all, that’s totally irrelevant. But since your brought to up let me correct you: anyone that speaks Portuguese and understands Brazilian culture knows that what Piquet said was not a racial slur by a long shot. Piquet is a scumbag of a man. He might be racist. But I wouldn’t be able to draw thay conclusion from that interview.

        The press has embarrassed itself with the tabloid-like reporting of that story. Manufactures outrage. Translating as though Piquet had used the English N-word. It doesn’t get more misleading and inflammatory than that

  4. Kudos to Lewis and Toto for calling out the uncouth booing fans. It is a bit weird seeing some of those who were pouring scorn on George yesterday for expressing displeasure with booing now unanimously decrying the act. Some consistency please.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      2nd July 2022, 19:16

      Weird also to not see those saying how awful booing was giving this comments section a miss….

      I personally don’t mind it – booing is a part of sports. It’s not a big deal. In most sports, people who are booed take it as a compliment! You get booed by the opposition because you’re too good for them to simply ignore.

    2. It is a bit weird seeing some of those who were pouring scorn on George yesterday for expressing displeasure with booing now unanimously decrying the act.

      Names please!
      Or call them out in a reply to their comment.

      As there are only four comments before yours, and none of them commented yesterday, it’s a bit thick to call that ‘unanimously’ (or make this remark at all) :P

      1. I wasn’t talking about this article in particular jff. I had read a lot of comments before I posted here.

        1. I suggest you reply to those post directly rather than claiming something here about others we cannot check.

  5. We all had a great talk on this issue yesterday and the consensus seemed to be that booing is not great but drivers need to stop crying about it because sports.

    1. So lewis should stop reacting?

  6. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    2nd July 2022, 18:43

    Oh for crying out loud it’s just a bit of pantomime. There are a few of us cheering for Verstappen and booing Hamilton and it’s all good natured. It was a nice distraction from being soaking wet during qualifying.

    1. It sounded pathetic and embarrassing for those of us not there in the rain.
      Enjoy your pantomime weekend.

  7. Wait, they race at 300kph with 100kg of explosive fuel on the back and a bad tyre from smash into a wal but hearing boos is too much?

    1. Where does Lewis say it’s too much? He simply finds it unsportsmanlike.

  8. Like Max said, dont really care.

  9. Lewis condemning it but appreciating the support that it is giving him.
    That is as condemning racism but appreciating the benefits from it.
    Totally wrong.

  10. It wasn’t Max’s fault that Masi cheated him into a win last year. It’s not as if the the Verstappen family bribed Masi. No one has alleged that yet.

  11. I still feel the pain from last year. I’m at Silverstone this weekend. When I heard the booing around me, I clapped instead. I still don’t agree with what happened in Abu Dhabi, I still don’t agree with many of Max’s actions on track at the end of last season, but it doesn’t stop me from appreciating what a tremendous driver he is and our sport is better for having him on the grid

  12. If it’s only ever a bit of booing here and there I think it’s pretty small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. I’m not going to be more offended than the very person the booing was aimed at, Max. If he’s taking it in stride I’m not going to stress over it. Of course I get that the booing is not the best etiquette, but the other side of the coin is that these people are passionate about F1 and their driver. As long as they don’t take it past booing, no biggie, imho.

  13. I don’t agree with the booing but these guys should be better than that. Performing on hostile environments is part of sport. Nothing personal, just people showing their passion for their team/driver/whatever.

    These guys look like they never went to a football game or something like that.

  14. Mark in Florida
    3rd July 2022, 2:19

    I could care less about the booing. Have we as a species become so soft and overly emotional that simple booing is now an issue? Let them boo its better than at the NASCAR tracks in times past when the drivers were pelted with water bottles for causing a crash. ( I believe it was the infamous Kyle Bush). To me booing is a fans way of expressing their opinion. It doesn’t make it right or classy but its part of the sport. Besides Max doesn’t care his haters are his motivators.

  15. puneeth bharath
    3rd July 2022, 3:06

    I really don’t get the big fuss about the booing.. it’s literally there in all sports … Just ignore and get on with it …

    1. Because these drivers are out there putting their lives on the line. They deserve respect for that.

  16. Max doesn’t care and probably expected it at Silverstone. Emotions are part of the sport so no problem with booing although it’s a bit childish. Last year at Zandvoort Jan Lammers asked the audience to welcome Lewis and most of them did just that. I guess the audience it’s still polarised and the media is only oil on the fire.

  17. I see my original post was not approved. Let me rephrase it. If the recipient of the booing does not care about it then the other drivers should also not be getting upset by it.

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