Max Verstappen says he has no problem being booed by fans when he wins races if they’re not supporting him, after receiving some heckling after winning the Miami Grand Prix.
The championship leader was booed by some fans during the pre-race driver introductions that were used in Miami, and a few more were audible after he took to the podium having climbed through from ninth on the grid to win. Verstappen says it’s a byproduct of winning so many races during a dominant season and that it’s a trade-off he’s happy to make.
“I think if I would be driving in the back nobody would do anything in terms of reaction,” Verstappen said. “It’s normal when you are winning and they don’t like who is winning. It’s something for me that is absolutely fine. As long as I stand on the top that is the most important (thing). I take the trophy home and they go back to their houses and they can have a nice evening.”
The Dutchman climbed into second place quickly in Miami, losing little time to Sergio Perez after starting on the hard tire and running long. He still needed to pass his teammate and managed to do so in the final ten laps before winning by over 5s, and says his tire usage was crucial to the victory.
“It’s been a good one — just really staying out of trouble in the beginning because the people around me try to gain positions as quickly as possible on lap one, but knowing that you have a quick car once it all settles down…you just try to pick them off one-by-one. That worked out quite well, I (even had) a three-wide on the straight which was quite entertaining!
“We had good pace. I could look after my tires and then once I was in clean air it was about getting to that lap number we targeted. That’s why maybe in the middle of that stint I was not entirely sure if I was going to make it, but then as soon as I was getting close to that number I was like, ‘OK, this is good,’ so then I started pushing and could extend the gap again, which really made my race today, I think. Because once we pitted, then of course I had the fresher tires to the end but also the tires which were a bit more fragile today.
“I had a good battle with Checo. We were free to race which was said before, and we had a good go at it. Of course most important is that we don’t touch, but that all worked out really well.”