Charles Leclerc disagrees with Lewis Hamilton over Max Verstappen fans at Austrian GP

Orange smoke billowed across the Red Bull Ring on the opening and closing laps of the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Austrian Grand Prix podium finishers have voiced their opinions over the controversial use of flares by fans around the Red Bull Ring.

Thousands of Dutch fans in support of Max Verstappen lit orange flares during the weekend, with the vast majority being lit during on Sunday’s race.

The race, which was won by Charles Leclerc, was difficult to view for those tuning in on TV, with a thick cloud of orange smoke filling the air at Turn Seven during the race’s opening laps.

The same happened at the end of the race at Turn Six, with Sir Lewis Hamilton explaining that he “couldn’t see”.

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“Just on the formation lap, you couldn’t see the apex of Turn 7, and at the end of the race, you couldn’t see anything through Turn 6,” the third-place finisher said.

“So fortunately, it wasn’t necessarily the case during the race, but maybe they should just save them more for the end?

“I can’t believe they’re really good environmentally either,” questioned the seven-time World Champion.

Verstappen was less concerned by the flares, possibly because the thick orange cloud generated from the flares was in support of him.

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However, the Dutchman did explain that he wants to see them remain in the grandstands, having seen one land on the circuit itself.

“I saw one flare, they threw it onto the track or onto the grass,” the reigning World Champion revealed.

“I think that’s the only thing they shouldn’t do, as long as you keep it in the grandstands.

“The wind blows it over the track for only one lap, so it doesn’t arrive within the track, I think it’s okay.”

Leclerc spoke in a similar fashion to Verstappen, agreeing with his title-rival that the smoke wasn’t actually “too bad”.

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“The formation lap was quite a lot but yeah, but nothing too bad. You could still see so it was fine,” said Leclerc.

All three podium-finishers agreed that their visibility was at its worst during the formation lap, which was, of course, led by Verstappen.

Verstappen claimed pole for the main race, having won the Sprint race in Austria, something which again resulted in orange flares being released into the Styrian sky.