Hamilton and Ricciardo criticise fans who cheered qualifying crash

2022 Austrian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says it was “mind-blowing” some spectators cheered when he crashed during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race on Friday.

The Mercedes driver’s crash in Q3 was greeted by cheers from some in the crowd at the Red Bull Ring.

“I didn’t hear them during [it], I was going through a bunch of stuff in the crash,” said Hamilton when asked by RaceFans. “But to hear it afterwards, I don’t agree or condone any of that, no matter what.

“I mean, a driver could have been in hospital and you’re going to cheer that? It’s mind-blowing that people would do that, just knowing how dangerous that sport is. I’m grateful that I wasn’t in hospital and I wasn’t heavily injured.”

Hamilton also criticised fans at Silverstone last week for booing Max Verstappen when his rival was being interviewed.

“You should never cheer someone’s downfall or someone’s injury or crash,” he said. “It shouldn’t have happened in Silverstone, even though it wasn’t a crash, and it shouldn’t happen here.”

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo said he understood why fans cheer for and against some drivers, but the danger involved in crashes means they should be treated with more respect.

“An accident falls into a bit of a different kind of territory,” he said. “For sure rivalries are great, and the Lewis and Max one especially last year was awesome, and like any sport you’re always going to have for and against. So I think on-track battles to be cheered or whatever is cool.

“I’ve never been a fan of booing so I don’t condone booing. Of course you’re going to have the ones you like and the ones that you don’t necessarily root for. But I think in an accident, you wish not to see it.”

Fans should remember drivers are “also human beings”, said Ricciardo. “People have to remember that sometimes.

“It’s easy when you’re in the crowd all day and you’ve obviously had a few beers and that and if the guy next to you does it then you think it’s okay that you can do it.

“But I feel like you get to an age where you also mature and you realise that, okay what I did when I was 15, I shouldn’t be doing as a 30-year-old man. You have to be a little more sensible.”

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2022 Austrian Grand Prix

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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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33 comments on “Hamilton and Ricciardo criticise fans who cheered qualifying crash”

  1. I’m not a fan of the booing .. but RUS and HAMs crashes weren’t exactly ZHO-like shunts. Sure some freak coincidence could mean they were injured but that was extremely unlikely. When the other team makes an own goal the crowd also cheers.
    But I don’t like average football fans either…

  2. I can understand where Hamilton is coming from. However, sport is theatre. It always has been. People pay money for the highs and lows of emotion. Then they express that emotion.

    It happens all over the world and all sorts of sports. I think the drivers could be empathetic to the audience having some level of theatre.

    As mentioned already, no one cheered the Zhou crash, because no one wants to see anyone get hurt. But if a driver suffers ignominy because of a mistake, just take it on the chin, and do the talking on the track.

    1. You’d be better off watching WWE if you’re into that kind of “sport”

    2. @hare People pay to watch a motor race. If what you say is true, drivers must also be paid to take all sorts of abuse; they’re not.

      That drivers should empathize with spectators who refuse to do the same in turn is perverse.

      Cheering for someone’s misfortune, or booing, isn’t in the spirit of any sport. You can’t disrespect a competitor without showing contempt for the sport itself; so why are they there?

      Not all emotions have merit. Why encourage those that are petty, and beneath our dignity?

      That something happens everywhere is no argument, either. I think you’re making a case for people not setting any kind of standard for themselves. This isn’t any different from the reports of racism and misogyny we’ve been getting; it’s just people being moved by their lowest of impulses.

  3. Hamilton is absolutely right.

    But the problem is a bit of his own making. Most Dutch fans have picked up on his ‘mind-blowing’ comment last week trying to blame Vertappen for last year’s Silverstone crash.

    Also he (and racefans.net) seems to be a bit slow on noticing the booing last week, yet the cheering leads to an immediate reaction.

    1. Dutch fans have been doing it since they started watching the sport. The same happened in Spa in 2019 (I think) and has happened multiple times since then. I felt like F1 fans generally support their favourite driver/team, without trying to disrespect their opponents like drunk football fans. But I fear that that has changed.
      Personally I partially blame this on the Dutch as well. I went to Spa in 2015 when Max wasn’t as big and the atmosphere was great. Went to it in 2016 and it felt like you shouldn’t have been there if you didn’t support Red Bull, which should not be the case at an F1 race imo…

  4. Yeah, feeling disappointed by my fellow dutchmen cheering a crash.

  5. These fans aren’t the best fans….

    1. “But I feel like you get to an age where you also mature and you realise that, okay what I did when I was 15, I shouldn’t be doing as a 30-year-old man. You have to be a little more sensible.”

      Yeah, an increasing number of people don’t go through that phase.

    2. That is what you get if you fill the funnel with a Netflix audience

  6. Out of interest, did Hamilton criticise his fans when they cheered Verstappen’s crash at Silverstone last year? https://tinyurl.com/8ccs9d4m

    F1 is gladiatorial and you will always have partisan fans – the promotion of F1 actively encourages it – and when they are gathered in large at a race then that fervour will be whipped up further for all to see.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      10th July 2022, 10:44

      If F1 didn’t want cheering when people crashed, they wouldn’t immediately cut to a shot of the fans going crazy. From watching it back, it appears that’s exactly what they did so you can only assume they are happy with it.

      1. Exactly, people complain about Netflix but F1 itself is more than happy to manufacture narratives (selective broadcasting of radio messages leading to the common Hamilton ‘my tyres are gone’ and Vettel ‘blue flags!’ memes) and emphasize fan reactions in the grandstands as an element of the sport.

  7. I remember a certain driver cheering on the podium last year when his competitor was hospitalised by his actions…

    1. His celebrations were all completely over the top too. If you want to make the Dutch fans get on your back, what better way than to shunt their No.1 driver out in a high speed crash then rub their noses in it. I think Lewis will just have to live with this until he retires.
      His double standards are shockingly obvious too. In 2016 he backed the pack up in AD hoping for cars to pass Nico but last year it was “dangerous driving man”.

    2. I get where Hamilton is coming from, but his own actions at Silverstone in 2021 really do make this a tough sell.

      But, ignoring Hamilton, hopefully fans among themselves can agree that it’s just not cool to cheer when drivers crash. Unfortunately, when organizers group people into stands based on which driver they support it isn’t going to improve things.

  8. John Ballantyne
    10th July 2022, 8:18

    Sad to see even a few people excusing that behavior.

  9. There are people who go to races just to see crashes. They must be ecstatic when someone is seriously injured.

  10. Add that to the fact that lots of women and staff are being harassed/catcalled by the fans this weekend and it just shows what kind of people they are. You can comment and defend them all you want but the truth is there to see in plain daylight.

  11. The world upside down. I think firstly you should display some self reflection and realize you have some brand building / repairing to do before pointing the finger somewhere else.

    1. I do think that you might need to listen to Danny Ric some more…

      1. He is entitled to his opinion indeed

  12. Well, they also cheered for his off in the 2019 Belgian GP FP3.

  13. People should remember that not long ago Vettel was heavily booed and cheered when retired or had a problem. And now he’s very popular and everyone loves him. But he’s being knocked out in Q1, way past his prime.

    Why not enjoy these drivers at their peak? Hamilton and Verstappem will be two of the biggest legends of this sport. And their battles are one of the reasons why people turned on the TV for more than a year…

    1. Exactly. I made that mistake when Schumacher was driving. With age I’ve realised you can respect a driver and acknowledge they are brilliant without necessarily being a fan.

  14. Hamilton is right, when he crashed Verstappen in Silverstone last year, the British fans showed sportsmanship and immediately they went to see if Ver is OK. There was no cheering at all in that incident.

    And then i changed side in my bed in my dreams.

  15. It isnt very classy, but it is far from new.
    I was at hockenheim in 1995 when Hill crashed in t1 on lap 2. Guess how the crowd reacted…

    And hamilton’s words last week also didnt help i can imagine.

  16. To cheer when any driver crashes is pathetic. End of story. Its a different thing when they boo someone after the race or during an interview although also not respectful but much less bad.

  17. petebaldwin (@)
    10th July 2022, 10:41

    I think the ship has sailed now. The British fans boo Verstappen and cheered his crash last year very loudly. The Dutch fans will do the same to Hamilton.

    I don’t like it but it’s not going to change now that it’s started. I just hope it doesn’t spread throughout the sport and become normal outside of Hamilton & Max fans.

    1. @petebaldwin
      I think that cheering an accident which is bad has always been part of F1 especially with the tifosi. Senna was cheered when he crashed in Monza 1988 and the 2 Ferraris went by, Hakkinen was cheered when he spun in the 1998 Italian GP, Vettel was cheered after he crashed from the lead in the 2018 German GP…

      Though I totally agree when with you on the fact that it’s becoming out of control at the moment between both Max and Lewis fans and that both camps are competing to boo the other drivers more hysterically. I think that Max, Lewis, Horner, Marko, Toto, NETFLIX… are all to blame for this situation.

  18. I agree, but that mentality has come from nascar tv broadcast over the years. Just try to watch their “review” of any race in YT. They only show crashes.

  19. harvey812abc
    12th July 2022, 14:13

    You lie to fans and say your nose ring can’t be removed. You say you will not race if forced to remove it. You complain about ‘porpoising’ because your car is slow and they change the rules to help you.

    You make millions of dollars and whine like a baby and wonder why people dislike you?

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