Red Bull team principal Christian Horner suspects that Max Verstappen won’t receive the “warmest reception” at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, after he was subjected to boos and jeers last weekend.
Verstappen was booed by thousands in the crowd at the United States Grand Prix, where he claimed his 15th win of the season and his third in a row at the Circuit of the Americas.
As he was presented with the trophy, a large portion of the fans who’d run onto the start/finish straight started to boo the three-time World Champion, with the hostile reception having continued throughout the Dutch and Austrian national anthems.
It appeared that the booing was coming from supporters of Sergio Perez, of which there were thousands on race day.
Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko criticised those who booed Verstappen and for not maintaining “fair sporting standard”, although he stressed that the team had “no concerns” about the reception the Dutchman might receive at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
“We are in contact with a lot of Mexicans,” said Marko, as reported by The Mirror.
“The majority are very friendly and fair, but there are always some, let’s say enthusiastic people, who don’t maintain the fair sporting standard. But we have no concerns and are happy to go to Mexico.”
Horner does suspect that it could be an interesting weekend for Verstappen in Mexico, with the expectation being that he’ll likely be booed should he claim what’ll be a record-breaking 16th win of the season.
“I don’t think Max is going to get the warmest reception in Mexico! But that’s water off a duck’s back. One year you are the villain, the next year you are the hero,” said Horner.
Being booed and jeered doesn’t actually bother Verstappen in the slightest, with him having joked at the US GP that it’s him who gets the trophy at the end of the day.
The 26-year-old is simply focused on the task at hand and winning as many races this year as possible.
His most recent victory was the 50th of his F1 career, putting him within striking distance of overtaking 53-time race winner Sebastian Vettel.