Lewis Hamilton accused of "disrespecting national anthem" at Austrian Grand Prix
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Lewis Hamilton has been accused of "disrespecting" the national anthem prior to the Austrian Grand Prix.
Hamilton finished eighth in the latest Formula One event, dropping a place to end up below Mercedes teammate George Russell after he was one of eight drivers to receive post-race penalties handed out by stewards.
It was a race to forget for Hamilton after showing recent promise, with Toto Wolff telling him to stop complaining about the car on team radio during the race.
But the 38-year-old was blasted by fans before he even jumped in his car and got on the track.
Before proceedings got underway in Sunday's race, the Austrian national them sounded out over the speakers.
In scenes reminiscent of the start of a football game, drivers lined up with mascots in front of them on the grid for the pre-race ceremony.
But while other drivers stood there, Hamilton was seen with his fingers in his ears, leading to an angry backlash from viewers, who felt his decision to do was out of order.
One fan commented: "The true nature of Lewis Hamilton. Disrespectful action during the Austrian national anthem!"
A second said: "@LewisHamilton nothing like insulting the host country by putting your fingers in your ears for their national anthem!"
A third asked: “Why is Lewis Hamilton blocking his ears during the Austrian national anthem?"
A fourth opined: "Lewis Hamilton should get a further penalty for being disrespectful during the Austrian national anthem standing there with his fingers in his ears."
Another fumed: "Lewis Hamilton, national anthem hurting your ears? Talk about disrespect."
A sixth remarked: "@LewisHamilton sure you can explain. Looks disrespectful towards the Austrian National anthem."
Hamilton has previously gone on record to support changes for the pre-race routine and encouraged the sport to "try new things".
SPORTbible has contacted Lewis Hamilton's team for comment.