Max Verstappen says he doesn’t care about being booed by some sections of the crowd at the British Grand Prix as he enjoys good support from the majority.
Last season at Silverstone saw Verstappen crash heavily at Copse after being hit by Lewis Hamilton, who was penalized for the contact but still recovered to win the race. After Verstappen went on to take the championship in controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi, he has faced some boos from the crowd in Britain but insists it doesn’t affect him.
“It was a bit disappointing because I couldn’t really understand Billy [Monger, interviewing] and it was a bit of a problem,” Verstappen said. “But the rest — if they want to boo, they do that. For me it’s not going to change anything. I’m always happy to be here — it’s a great track, it’s a great atmosphere in general. Maybe some of them don’t like me. That’s fine; they all have their own opinions. I don’t care.”
Verstappen looked favorite for pole position for much of qualifying, but a spin for Charles Leclerc on the final runs in Q3 saw the Dutchman unable to improve and allowing Carlos Sainz to pip him.
“I had a yellow flag! Q3 was fine; just on my final lap I had a yellow flag so I lifted not to have any issues, but then you end up just being bending in qualifying but overall the car was good so it doesn’t matter. Of course it’s a shame to miss out on a pole position but I also know that tomorrow are the points and that’s what I like on a Sunday, to go racing, especially when you have a good feeling with the car.”
In response to the booing, Hamilton backed up his former rival, saying he doesn’t want to hear such a reaction from the British fans.
“I think we are better than that,” Hamilton said. “I would say we don’t need to do booing, but we have got such great fans and our sporting fans, they feel emotions — ups and downs — but I definitely don’t agree with booing.
“I don’t think we need to do that. We should be here pushing everybody. It doesn’t make any difference when you boo someone either — they have already made the mistake or whatever it is. I really do appreciate the support that I have here. I don’t know, maybe some of them are still feeling the pain from last year. I don’t know.”