Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton called out the fans at the Red Bull Ring for cheering when he crashed in the Q3 for the Sprint Race on Saturday. He said he was shocked by the response despite knowing the fact that F1 is an extremely dangerous sport.
“I was going through a bunch of stuff in the crash, but to hear it afterwards you know...I don’t agree with any of that, no matter what,” said Hamilton. “A driver could have been in hospital, and you are going to cheer that? It's just mind-blowing that people would do that, knowing how dangerous our sport is.”
“I'm grateful that I wasn't in hospital and I wasn’t heavily injured,” added the seven-time world champion. "You should never cheer someone’s downfall or someone’s injury. It shouldn’t have happened at Silverstone, even though it wasn’t a crash, and it shouldn’t have happened here."
Addressing the issue, hometown hero Max Verstappen also defended his rival’s stance and deemed the people cheering as non-F1 fans. “Those people are not really F1 fans,” Verstappen said.
“They cannot really enjoy what is actually happening right now, a lot of great drivers actually fighting against each other. But they cannot appreciate that and that’s a bit of a shame. How many times do you get to experience stuff like that? Such an intense rivalry or fights. These people are not lovers of the sport.”
Unfortunately for Hamilton, he didn’t have a great sprint race as well as he finished eighth on the grid between the two Haas cars. Reacting to his performance, he said, “Firstly, I didn’t have a good start,” he said. “Secondly, I don’t understand these drivers. Moving across, I don’t know if they know they are moving across, but it was just unnecessary, [Gasly] had so much space on his right.
“That is unfortunate for sure. I have got some sort of damage there, I don’t know exactly what but it was a big hit to my front. I’m just grateful I could continue. And then I got another one further up, with the Williams and the Red Bull – they did the same thing. I managed to just survive.”