'We are better than that' – Hamilton condemns Silverstone's Verstappen jeers

By Sports Desk July 02, 2022

Lewis Hamilton was angered to see sections of the Silverstone crowd booing Max Verstappen during qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

Reigning Formula One world champion Verstappen was greeted by a chorus of jeers before conducting a post-qualifying interview on Saturday, having had to settle for second on the grid after being pipped by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, who claimed the first pole position of his career.

Verstappen, who recorded a time less than a hundredth of a second slower than Sainz in treacherous conditions, spent the 2021 season locked in a dramatic and at times ill-tempted title tussle with Hamilton.

The duo were involved in a collision on the same course last year, before Verstappen clinched his first title at Hamilton's expense in contentious circumstances in December.

Verstappen also courted controversy earlier this week when he suggested Nelson Piquet's alleged use of a racist slur to describe Hamilton had been "blown out of proportion."  

Speaking after qualifying in fifth, Hamilton suggested last year's battle with Verstappen may have antagonised the Silverstone crowd as he refused to condone the reception afforded to the Red Bull driver.

"I think we are better than that and I definitely don't agree with the booing," Hamilton said.

"We should be here pushing everybody and it doesn't make any difference.

"But I do really appreciate the support I have. Maybe some of them are feeling the pain from last year. Either way, I appreciate it."

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff echoed Hamilton's sentiments, asserting: "That is unsportsmanlike. If you’re not into the other guy, just remain silent. 

"I don't think any of the drivers deserves booing, whatever happened last year. Being booed is abusive and there is a certain limit which we shouldn’t overstep."

Meanwhile, Verstappen, who is targeting a third successive race victory on Sunday, insisted the hostile atmosphere did not faze him.

"It was a bit disappointing because I couldn't really understand [interviewer] Billy [Monger]," he joked.

"If they want to boo, they [can] do it. I'm always happy to be here, it's a great track and a great atmosphere in general.

"Maybe some of them don't like me, they're all entitled to their own opinions. I don't care."

Related items

  • Lando Norris upset by Lewis Hamilton prang but accepts it was ‘racing incident’ Lando Norris upset by Lewis Hamilton prang but accepts it was ‘racing incident’

    Lando Norris wanted to turn the air blue following his accident with Lewis Hamilton at the Spanish Grand Prix – but stressed his compatriot did not do anything wrong.

    Norris started third after a fine performance in qualifying, but his race was over inside two corners when he drove into the back of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

    Norris was forced to pit for a new front wing, relegating him to the back of the field. The 23-year-old Briton eventually took the chequered flag in 17th place. Hamilton continued without damage, finishing runner-up to Max Verstappen.

    Asked what went through his mind following his first-lap prang, Norris said: “F***. Max [Verstappen] went off the track and a bit wide, so he had to bounce over the kerb at Turn 2. Everybody checked up and I was too close to Lewis to react and brake so it was just unlucky in my opinion, and a racing incident.

    “Lewis didn’t do anything wrong. I touched his wheel, nothing happened to him, maybe it made him quicker today.”

    Following a brief resurgence, McLaren are on something of a downward spiral. Norris has scored only a dozen points from the opening seven rounds, leaving him 11th in the standings.

    And the highly-rated Briton, who is under contract with McLaren until the end of 2025, painted a gloomy picture for the remainder of the campaign.

    “The pace was as expected as it was today which was bad,” he said. “I don’t think we expected anything else.

    “We were slow and we have been all year. Yesterday was a special day. Some of the good teams struggled and some of the worst teams did a better job. People made mistakes and we capitalised on that.

    “But we are clearly nowhere near as quick as the top-five teams so there is no point thinking about finishing in the points because we are not quick enough.

    “There are no new parts on the car. We had a upgrade in Baku and that was about it. It maybe brought us half-a-tenth to a tenth.

    “A lot of teams have brought upgrades to the last few races and we haven’t. We are not expecting anything more than we are doing and if we get in the points it is an amazing day but the expectation is that we won’t.”

  • Lewis Hamilton ‘super-focused’ on earning F1 title rematch with Max Verstappen Lewis Hamilton ‘super-focused’ on earning F1 title rematch with Max Verstappen

    Lewis Hamilton has vowed to continue in Formula One for as long as he can in order to challenge Max Verstappen for the world championship again.

    Hamilton finished runner-up to Verstappen at Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix as the Red Bull star delivered another knockout display to claim his fifth win from seven rounds. George Russell completed the podium positions on a strong afternoon for Mercedes.

    The seven-time world champion’s contract expires at the end of the year, but the 38-year-old revealed on Sunday night that he is meeting Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff on Monday to thrash out a new deal.

     

    The British driver is in the leanest spell of his life. Twenty-nine races have passed since he lost to Verstappen at the controversial 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi, and the record-breaking driver has not won a race since.

     

    But following his team’s revitalised performance at the Circuit de Catalunya, Hamilton allowed his mind to wander to the prospect of a title rematch with Verstappen that both he, and the sport, so desperately craves.

    “I want to keep going for as long as I can,” said Hamilton, sitting alongside Verstappen.

    “But I want to be where he (Verstappen) is, or racing him at least, and I am super-focused on getting to that point. There is a long way to go, but there is time.”

    Hamilton will be 39 in January but he remains fuelled by a desire to be crowned champion of the world for a record eighth time.

    “My hunger has never shifted,” he added. “I am in a great place in my life, and I am really happy where I am in my life. I have got all the ducks in a row so I can focus.

    “I have not signed anything yet, but I am meeting with Toto (on Monday) so hopefully we can get something done.

    “We have had so many meetings. And this is another meeting. But the contract is always at the back of your mind, so once it is done then I can focus more on the future.”

    Verstappen might have finished 24 seconds up the road, but the feeling in the Mercedes camp is that they might have turned the corner following a turbulent period for the grid’s once-dominant team.

    In the days leading up to Sunday’s race, Hamilton said their revamped machine – which made its debut in Monaco a week ago – had not provided him with the step forward he wanted.

    But this was Mercedes’ strongest display of the year. Hamilton breezed past Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to take second, while team-mate Russell waltzed his way through the field from his lowly starting slot of 12th.

    “It is definitely the best the car has been for the past year and a half,” Hamilton added. “That is kudos to the amazing group of people back at the factory.

    “It is super-encouraging, not only for me, but for everyone in the team. This is a big boost for everybody’s morale and we are going to take that energy on to developing the car.

    “I know we have something in the pipeline moving forward and I am hoping by the end of the year we can challenge.

    “Red Bull are so far ahead and Max will continue to win this year. That means they can start on their development for next year, if they have not already, and that is the danger.”

    Red Bull have won all seven rounds this year, and 17 of the last 18 races contested, and their stranglehold on the sport shows few signs of easing.

    A day on from crushing his opposition to take pole, Verstappen held off the advances off Sainz on the long run to the opening corner and from there, his 40th career victory – which takes him just one shy of Ayrton Senna’s career tally – never looked in doubt.

    After Sergio Perez fought back from 11th to fourth, Verstappen’s title lead over his Red Bull team-mate now stands at 53 points, with a week off before the next round in Canada on June 18.

  • Max Verstappen wins Spanish GP as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell make podium Max Verstappen wins Spanish GP as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell make podium

    Max Verstappen recorded a dominant victory at the Spanish Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished second and third for Mercedes.

    Verstappen led all 66 laps at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya to record his fifth win from the opening seven rounds and extend his championship lead.

    Hamilton started fourth but finished runner-up, with team-mate Russell completing the podium places on a strong afternoon for the Silver Arrows.

    Sergio Perez secured fourth spot after moving ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz with a dozen laps remaining.

    Verstappen’s title lead over his Red Bull team-mate now stands at 53 points, with a week off before the next round in Canada on June 18.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.