F1 drivers with mixed feelings about ‘booing’

Wed, 26 June 2024, 09:46

Jun.26 (GMM) Two top Formula 1 drivers have mixed feelings about the increasing phenomenon of some of their on-track rivals being ‘booed’.

Prior to the Spanish GP, ousted-for-2025 Alpine driver Esteban Ocon was booed at a fan event in Barcelona.

“When the Alpine duo were announced, whistles and boos rang out around the circuit, and when Esteban Ocon appeared, it became so loud that he could hardly be heard,” Speed Week reports.

In response, event organisers even displayed a message on the screen behind the drivers asking for “respect” and warning that “anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and may lead to the cancellation of interviews”.

And then, on the post-Spanish GP podium, race winner and triple world champion Max Verstappen was booed by the local crowd.

“It’s never a nice thing, honestly,” said McLaren’s Lando Norris, “but people are always going to boo, I think, no matter what. You have it in every sport.”

Norris admitted he may be “digging a hole for myself” with his next comment, but he suggested that most of the booing is done by “people who don’t know the most about motorsport”.

“I think people maybe should appreciate more,” said the Briton, “but every driver is going to get boos at some point.”

As for seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton, he had a particularly acrimonious relationship with Verstappen during their 2021 title battle, but the pair are much friendlier these days.

Hamilton suggested that the Dutchman does not deserve to be disrespected, but he questioned just how hostile the F1 crowds are towards him.

“On the race weekends, he always has a huge crowd always,” said the Mercedes driver. “He’s always got amazing support. And at the end of the day, he does a fantastic job. Every weekend, he delivers.

“He’s got a great team and obviously a great car, but you can’t fault him,” Hamilton added.

You may also like