Last weekend, during qualifying for the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix, many fans applauded the crash of Lewis Hamilton after his Mercedes went off and into the barriers. According to the Dutchman’s former team mate, this was somewhat of an unsportsmanlike attitude strongly condemned. Daniel Ricciardo called on fans to show more respectful behaviour at such events, slamming Verstappen’s fans.
While Lewis Hamilton was at full speed on a flying lap during the qualifying session last weekend, the British driver lost control of his car at Turn 7 and it went through the gravel trap before smashing into the wall. The crash was applauded by many fans – mainly fans of Max Verstappen of Red Bull, Hamilton’s great rival last season – who were delighted to see the 37-year-old driver go off resulting in a worse grid slot for the race.
According to Ricciardo, this was a rather dubious behaviour, especially as at the time of the applause, the state of health of the seven-time world champion was still unknown, who fortunately escaped unhurt from his accident.
This unfortunate episode in qualifying was one of many that Lewis Hamilton received throughout the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. Indeed, the vast majority of the fans who made the trip to the Red Bull Ring were part of the Oranje Army, Max Verstappen’s fan community.
While the on-track rivalry between the reigning world champion and the Englishman has calmed down considerably this year, this is not the case with the Dutch fans, who continue to show great hostility towards Hamilton. This is a state of mind that McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo does not agree with at all, and he made a point of reacting to the latest events.
“I’ve never been a fan of booing, so I don’t condone it,” said Ricciardo,
“But of course there are drivers you like, and those you don’t necessarily support. But I think in an accident you don’t want to see that kind of behaviour,” Daniel Ricciardo said to the Mirror, before adding: “I’m not going to control the stands and all the emotions of the spectators. In terms of the rivalry and all that, it’s obviously good for the sport and the fans supporting their driver,
It’s good to see. But I think there’s probably a time and a place and it’s not something I would like to see. And even obviously when we’re not involved, and I’m happy not to be involved in a situation like that. We are human beings, and I think people have to remember that sometimes.”
Daniel Ricciardo called on all fans to be a little more mature around the circuits:
“It’s easy when you’re in the crowd all day and you’ve obviously had a few beers, and if the guy next to you does that, then you think it’s okay to do it. But you get to an age where you become that mature and you realise that those things you did when you were 15, you shouldn’t be doing as a 30-year-old man.”