Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff blaming Max Verstappen fans for booing Sir Lewis Hamilton “makes no sense at all”, Dutch F1 journalist Jack Plooji has said.
Hamilton was the subject of booing on several occasions in Budapest, as the race took place hot on the heels of his crash with Verstappen on the opening lap of the 2021 British GP.
The seven-time World Champion was adjudged to be at fault for the collision, but despite receiving a 10-second penalty, he went on to win the race.
And, with Verstappen suffering a DNF as a result of the crash, Hamilton almost completely wiped out Verstappen’s then-33-point lead advantage at the summit of the Drivers’ Standings.
Reacting to the booing that took place in Hungary, Wolff said it has no place in sport.
“The grandstands are packed with Dutch fans,” Wolff said in an interview with Motorsport.com.
“So yeah, nobody likes that [booing], and people that have done sports competitively will never understand why that is.
“But you hear that in football stadiums and you hear that on the grandstands. It was an orange grandstand.”
“It shows how passionate the fans are. Tribal instinct isn’t necessarily something bad, I very much have that instinct for the team too.
“If it were tribal, if they were passionate, if they were applauding and screaming for the drivers, that would be great.
“I think the booing has no place in sports.
“I think it’s a consequence of the events of the last few weeks. The incident was controversial, it was polarising.
“We see the consequences in terms of the emotional expressions of the grandstands, the emotional outbursts,” Wolff added.
However, Plooji, Ziggo Sport’s pit-lane reporter, said Wolff had only increased tensions by calling out the Dutch fans.
“Then Toto Wolff joins in on that again by pointing the finger at the orange fans,” he said.
“But that makes no sense at all, because then you are just throwing oil on the fire.
“And what I found very disappointing is that as Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, you talk about respect for years and enforce that T-shirts have to be worn, but then don’t show any respect yourself. I don’t like that.”