Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has criticised the spectators that were seen burning Sir Lewis Hamilton merchandise at the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend.
There have been multiple examples of misconduct from fans at races in recent weeks, starting with British fans booing Verstappen in Silverstone, while two men were hospitalised after a brawl broke out.
Dutch fans in Austria gave Hamilton the same treatment, but things escalated as spectators reported discrimination and sexual harassment, which Formula 1 condemned in a statement.
The orange army made its way over to Budapest last weekend, and there were further accounts of spectators being made to feel uncomfortable.
A photographer was allegedly slapped in the face by a security officer at the track, and some fans were seeing lighting merchandise of the seven-time champion.
Though Verstappen and Hamilton have always been respectful off the track, the same cannot be said for their fanbases, but a disturbing cult mentality is now beginning to develop.
Upon seeing the video of Hamilton’s merch being burned, Verstappen was disgusted.
“That’s of course not acceptable, these individuals, I definitely don’t agree with that, because that’s just disgusting,” he said, quoted by Racefans.net.
He emphasised that the majority of the supporters attending the race were well behaved throughout the weekend, before reiterating his discomfort at seeing the burning video.
“But overall I think the majority of the fans were cheering a lot I think throughout the race and also on the podium, for every driver, I think that’s how it should be,” added Verstappen.
“Those videos, or video, of burning merchandise, I think that’s disgusting.”
Verstappen won in Hungary after Ferrari made yet another blunder on Charles Leclerc’s strategy, bringing him in for Hards instead of leaving him out on Mediums.
They were responding to a threat that did not really exist at the time, and it turned what was looking like a win for the Monegasque into a sixth-placed finish.
It meant that Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell grabbed Mercedes’ second consecutive double podium in second and third respectively, as Carlos Sainz ended P4 in the other Ferrari.
The reigning champion quipped that he is always happy to see his nearest rivals losing points.
“It’s good that they are competitive because they can steal more points from Ferrari, I’m very happy they’re doing very well,” said Verstappen.
Verstappen leads Leclerc by 80 points in the Drivers’ Standings, while Red Bull are 97 clear of the Scuderia after 13 rounds.