Nov.22 (GMM) Dutch GP boss Jan Lammers says he sees “sadness” in Max Verstappen’s eyes when he is booed by Formula 1 spectators.
The booing is a relatively modern phenomenon in F1 that is also experienced regularly by seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
But in Abu Dhabi, where Verstappen marked the end of his second successful drivers’ title campaign, many in the crowd responded by booing.
“With all his dominance this year, I still feel a bit sorry for him when he is booed,” Lammers, a former F1 driver, told NOS.
“What do they want from a racing driver? If you’re really a motorsport fan, I wonder – ‘how much better do you want it?’
“When it happens, I think I see a kind of sadness in his eyes. He’s just talking but you can see him thinking ‘What’s this?’ I think that’s sad, but luckily he can rise above it and perform above it.”
However, Verstappen admitted in Abu Dhabi that his current contract with Red Bull could be his last – meaning he would retire in 2028 at the age of 31.
The 25-year-old also admitted last weekend that the abuse on social media tackled by his family after the team orders saga in Brazil makes him question his future on the grid.
“It’s not only related to that, to be honest,” said the Dutchman. “But I won’t be here when I’m 40, that’s for sure.”
Lammers, meanwhile, said Abu Dhabi was a perfect example of how much he has dominated his teammate Sergio Perez in 2022.
“I thought it was a very unique statement when he said Max held him up,” he said. “I thought it was a little crazy.
“He got too much out of his tyres at the start and paid the price. Max is so consistent with his times that sometimes Perez pushes too hard, while Max just neatly does his laps like clockwork.
“Fans of other drivers may blame him for sometimes attacking or defending too hard, but he’s a racer through and through,” added Lammers. “So I’m very aware of how special what we are seeing now is and how inspiring he is to so many people.”