Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton believes that the reaction of Red Bull's management to the clash between him and Max Verstappen at Silverstone has led to the situation where the reigning Champion was booed after qualifying in Hungary.
Hamilton was booed by the crowds in the grandstands after taking pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, and believes the booing has been triggered by Red Bull management's reaction to the collision. Red Bull pushed for a petition to get a formal review of the penalty given to Hamilton, with Helmut Marko calling for a race ban for Hamilton.
Following the dismissal of Red Bull's petition, Mercedes issued a statement to condemn the implications of what their rival team had alledged in their statements to the stewards. The contents of what was said have not been made public.
“It’s not a surprise to me, given the things that have been said from the heads of that team that have incited that,” Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365, after qualifying. The British driver was also subjected to racial abuse after Silverstone, leading Mercedes, Red Bull and Formula 1 to issue statements condemning the abuse.
“Over this break, people really need to look within at the things that have been said, because it is unacceptable the things that have been said and, on top of that, the things that have escalated, the fire that it’s caused."
With Red Bull firing an employee earlier this week after screenshots of a private text conversation revealed the use of racist language, Hamilton acknowledged Red Bull's action.
“They’ve just had to fire someone for things that were said.. I don’t know who it was about, it doesn’t matter who it was about.
“If I pass it to my friend or my father or my brother, we all feel that pain of what they meant by those words.
“I’m really proud of my team for staying focused during this time because it has been a whirlwind of emotions and things coming at us in all different directions.
“But we’ve kept our heads down and come here and delivered and I am really, really proud of everybody.”
Hamilton went on to explain that he felt the fans need to take more responsibility for their actions too, saying that he didn't feel booing was an appropriate response.
"I'm a sporting fan. So I watch, I've never booed any team before in any other sport, because it's just not my character," he said.
"But, of course, I want one team to win more than other or something like that but I've seen that it's... we've grown up around it, we know what it is.
"But we do have to be so careful with our words, particularly as young kids watching this, and we were supposed to be shining a light and encouraging people out there, right? And spreading positivity.
"When you've got leaders of this industry, they need to be leaders. They have people following them and kids following them. And we're supposed to, as a sport, we've got a responsibility, and I think there should be some strong talks over the next weeks. But either way, it's not got in my way."
Follow us as we, along with World's Fastest Gamer and current Porsche Cup star Rudy Van Buren, take you on a lap around the Hungaroring.