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Hamilton blasts fans for cheering qualifying crash

Max Verstappen is being heavily backed at the Austrian Grand Prix, but Lewis Hamilton is not pleased with the conduct of some supporters.

SPIELBERG - Lewis Hamilton (44) crashes his Mercedes W13 during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at the Red Bull Ring on July 8, 2022 in Spielberg, Austria. ANP SEM VAN DER WAL (Photo by ANP via Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton has criticised spectators for their “mind-blowing” decision to cheer when he crashed in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying. The Mercedes driver lost control into Turn 7 and skid into the barriers close to the Red Bull Ring grandstands, which are largely packed with Max Verstappen fans this weekend. Hamilton was on course to challenge Verstappen for pole prior to Friday’s crash, but he instead finished in 10th before being bumped up a place after Sergio Pérez was penalised.

Celebrating others’ downfall isn’t on, says Hamilton

Speaking after making up one position to finish eighth in Saturday’s sprint race, which establishes the grid for Sunday’s main grand prix, Hamilton hit out at those who cheered. “I don’t agree or condone any of that, no matter what,” he said. “A driver could have been in hospital and you are going to cheer that? It is mind-blowing that people would do that, knowing how dangerous our sport is. I am grateful I wasn’t in hospital and wasn’t injured. You should never cheer someone’s downfall, someone’s injury or crash.”

Hamilton escaped unhurt, with the incident coming less than a week on from Zhou Guanyu’s horror crash at the British Grand Prix when he somehow avoided any serious injuries. Red Bull’s Verstappen was booed by a section of supporters at Hamilton’s home race at Silverstone, but the Briton is not a fan of drivers being jeered. “It shouldn’t have happened at Silverstone, and it shouldn’t have happened here,” he said.

Verstappen won the sprint to claim eight points and start on pole for the Austrian Grand Prix, while Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are second and third respectively.


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