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Verstappen: Fans booing "isn't going to spoil my day"

The Red Bull driver was booed after winning the Italian Grand Prix behind the Safety Car at Monza.

Runaway Formula 1 World Championship leader Max Verstappen says fans booing "isn't going to spoil my day" after winning the Italian Grand Prix. Verstappen stormed through the field from seventh on the grid to take victory at Monza, his 11th from 16 races in 2022 and further cement his lead at the top of the standings - now 116 points with six rounds to go. His case was helped by Ferrari electing to pit leader Charles Leclerc under an early Virtual Safety Car, which gifted him the lead, running 13 laps longer than his closest challenger. Knowing the Red Bull driver would catch them, Ferrari hauled Leclerc in again, giving him 20 laps to find 20 seconds on fresh Soft tyres. However, Leclerc did not show the requisite pace, with the race eventually ending behind the Safety Car following the breakdown of Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren on Lap 48 of 53. Post-race, Verstappen was booed by sections of the fans - but responded that the treatment wouldn't affect him.

Verstappen understands booing

There have been times in recent history of F1 where dominant drivers have been booed on the podium, including Sebastian Vettel in 2013 and also non-Ferrari drivers on the Monza podium. However, Verstappen believes the booing is just part what "passionate fans" do. "When it happens, everyone speaks to me about it with the booing and stuff, but I mean, at the end of the day, I'm here to try and win the race which we've done," he explained to media including RacingNews365.com. "Some people of course can't appreciate that but that's because they're very passionate fans of a different team and is what it is. "It's not going to spoil my my day. I'm just enjoying the moment." Leclerc - who banked back-to-back podium finishes for the first time since the Saudi Arabian and Australian Grands Prix in March/April also leapt to Verstappen's defence and criticised the booers. "I think nobody likes booing, and I think it shouldn't happen. That's it," explained the Monegasque.

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