Max Verstappen hits out at ‘silly’ Lewis Hamilton fans

Max Verstappen won the Dutch Grand Prix to extend his championship lead last weekend.

Max Verstappen has called for change after Red Bull strategist, Hannah Schmitz, was targeted by hateful abusers online.

The 24-year-old won the Dutch Grand Prix after beating George Russell, Sir Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc to the flag last weekend.

Verstappen and Leclerc were both on the two-stop strategy, while the two Mercedes cars had one scheduled stop.

The Britons were projected to be ahead of Verstappen ahead of his second stop having passed Leclerc when he came in for his set of Mediums, but the Dutchman took advantage of a Virtual Safety Car to jump them.

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That came when Yuki Tsunoda stopped on track thinking one of his wheels was loose, before coming back into the pits for a second time.

The Japanese driver was released again with a problem on the car, and he stopped on track, causing the VSC.

Conspiracy theorists online instantly came to the conclusion that Red Bull had told their junior side to cause a caution period to help Verstappen win, but that has since been rubbished by all parties involved.

Schmitz was somehow perceived to be the architect of the wild conspiracy, so fans took to social media to hurl astonishing abuse at the woman whose genius strategy calls have helped Verstappen and Sergio Perez win races this year.

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Tsunoda suggested that anyone who believes there was a conspiracy needs an “MRI,” and Verstappen wants something done about the constant online trolls who perpetrate targeted harassment.

“To be honest it’s just about all these silly people who comment like that and what social media allows in general,” he told Sky Sports.

“Hate happens in every type, it’s not only Formula 1, but it shouldn’t happen.

“I think there’s a lot still to be done about that on social media platforms to anyone, not only us, but that’s something they [social media companies] have to look into. 

“We can’t change that, we’re not in charge of that, but they definitely can work something out.”

It was an entertaining race in the Netherlands, complete with a Verstappen pass on Hamilton on the Safety Car restart towards the end of the race, so the reigning champion wants the focus to be on the track action, rather than the behaviour of certain individuals.

“People just be [on] their phone or laptop or whatever, but these things you know, that shouldn’t happen anymore,” added Verstappen. 

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“We should remember the whole weekend is a great atmosphere and a great race, because I think it was quite exciting.

“You never really knew what was going on or who’s going to win the race and that’s what it should be remembered about.”

Verstappen leads Leclerc and Perez by 109 points in the Drivers’ Standings, while Red Bull hold a 135-point advantage over Ferrari in the teams’ battle.