Max Verstappen criticized his own fans at the Red Bull Ring.
Max Verstappen criticized his own supporters on Red Bull Ring.
A week ago in Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton‘s fans spent the weekend booing Dutchman Verstappen, who had been involved in a super-intense fight for the world title a year earlier.
Now, as 50,000 Dutch fans, who call themselves the ‘Orange Army’, gather at the venue for the Austrian Grand Prix, they cheer wildly as MercedesHamilton crashed out of qualifying.
“Basically, I think it’s a shame that the fans actually react like football fans who always boo the opponent,” world champion Verstappen told Sport1.
“In the Netherlands they boo Lewis, in England they boo me. I think it’s a shame because we often have extremely tough, athletic, quality fights.
“You also have to respect your opponent. I’m a fan of PSV (the Dutch football team), but when I watch a great game, I enjoy it, whether my team wins or loses.
“It would be nice if the fans behaved like that in our sport,” added the 24-year-old player.
However, Verstappen admits that his championship fight with Charles Leclerc much friendlier this year.
“It’s because of how much you respect the other person,” he admitted.
“Like I said, I’ve known Charles for a long time, so you automatically respect each other more because, logically, you know each other a lot better.”
But he said he always takes on a rival with equal pleasure – even when he’s behind the wheel of a damaged Red Bull and racing wheel to wheel with Mick Schumacheras it was at Silverstone.
“I could see he wanted more,” Verstappen said. “At the same time, I had a damaged car that was not easy to drive, but I still drove like it was for the win.
“It’s in my character. Every point counts. It was a good fight and I was definitely pleased that it was a breakthrough for Mick.”
Asked if Schumacher was starting to do enough to warrant a car capable of winning, Verstappen said: “It will depend on Mick.
“If he works hard and keeps improving, anything is possible.”