Mercedes team boss criticizes fans cheering Hamilton crash
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says that fans cheering when a driver crashes is not very sportsmanlike.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has "questioned the attitude" of fans who rejoiced when drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both crashed at Austria's Red Bull Ring circuit on Friday.
A loud cheer erupted when Hamilton hit a wall hard at turn seven in the top 10 qualifying shootouts for Saturday's Austrian Grand Prix sprint race.
Shortly after, sections of the capacity crowd - largely made up of supporters of world champion Max Verstappen - celebrated again when Russell also crashed.
"It's not very sportsmanlike," Wolff considered at a press conference at the circuit owned by Verstappen's Red Bull team on Saturday.
"Fans cheering when a driver crashes out, you should question the attitude and understanding of sport," he indicated.
This was the crash that Lewis Hamilton had 😢— Mercedes - AMG F1 News (@MercedesAMGUK) July 8, 2022
He was definitely going for pole or Top 3
📻 | Lewis Hamilton: “So sorry guys, so so sorry for damaging the car.”
📻 | Marcus: “Yea, that lap looked to be on course for P2, P3.”
Last weekend at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Verstappen was loudly booed, a behavior which was criticized by Hamilton.
"Booing is not good either," noted Wolff, adding that "As teams we fight, but booing is a personal attack on a driver. Fans should put themselves in the same position."
The Mercedes team principal said that "We want fans to be emotional and passionate but maybe when it becomes personal it shouldn't happen."
His Ferrari counterpart Mattia Binotto echoed those sentiments, saying that "F1 is a sport with a lot of passion around it but you should not forget it should be enjoyable - booing is never great, never right."