Lewis Hamilton has reacted to the crowds cheering when he crashed during the qualifying of the Austrian Grand Prix last Friday. Calling it “mind-blowing”, he spoke out about how he felt when he was told about it.
Hamilton’s Mercedes W13 snap oversteered into a corner, and as Hamilton steered against it, this pushed him into the barriers damaging his chassis, gearbox, and a number of aero parts. This pushed him back to 9th on the grid for the sprint after a number of drivers ahead of him lost their place due to track limits.
When this happened, a handful of Max Verstappen’s ‘Orange Army’ jumped up and cheered.
🗣️ "I am incredibly disappointed in myself ultimately and so sorry to the team"
Lewis Hamilton reflects on his crash in Q3 after it looked like he was fighting for pole! 👇 pic.twitter.com/a001Yfv1Pc
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) July 8, 2022
This isn’t just one-sided, however, as Lewis Hamilton fans were booing the Belgian driver during his qualifying at Silverstone.
Hamilton spoke out about both of these cases:
“I didn’t hear them during [the accident], I mean, I was going through a bunch of stuff in the crash,” he said.
“But to hear it afterwards, you know, I don’t agree or condone any of that no matter what.
“A driver could have been in hospital. And you’re going to cheer that? I mean, it’s just mind-blowing that people will do that, just knowing how dangerous our sport is.
“And I’m grateful that I wasn’t in hospital, and I wasn’t heavily injured, but you should never cheer someone’s downfall or someone’s injury or crash.
“It shouldn’t have happened in Silverstone, even though it wasn’t obviously a crash, and it shouldn’t have happened here.”
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff also commented on the behaviour:
“Booing is not right in any sport,” Wolff told the press. “Teams fight, but booing is a personal attack on the driver.
“We heard them at Silverstone too and they were not good.”
“An accident falls into a bit of a different kind of territory,” he admitted. “For sure rivalries are great, and the Lewis and Max one especially last year was awesome, and like any sport you’re always going to have for and against.
“So I think on-track battles to be cheered or whatever is cool.
“I’ve never been a fan of booing so I don’t condone booing. Of course you’re going to have the ones you like and the ones that you don’t necessarily root for.
“But I think in an accident, you wish not to see it.
“It’s easy when you’re in the crowd all day and you’ve obviously had a few beers and that and if the guy next to you does it then you think it’s okay that you can do it.
“But I feel like you get to an age where you also mature and you realise that, okay what I did when I was 15, I shouldn’t be doing as a 30-year-old man. You have to be a little more sensible.”