F1 star Max Verstappen has criticised fans who allegedly burned his rival Lewis Hamilton’s merch while at the Hungary Grand Prix.
The Formula 1 world champion has been locked into a rivalry with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton over the past season, which has seen them fight out for the championship.
The rivalry has been dramatic and intense and has clearly boiled over into the fan bases, who have taken extra measures to showcase their disdain for the opposing team.
Max Verstappen fans burning Lewis Hamilton merch at the Hungarian GP just now pic.twitter.com/yZoQoGl7hp— Harvey (@HarveyyC19) July 29, 2022
A video circulated over the weekend of Red Bull and Max Verstappen fans burning Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes merch in some kind of weird-looking ritual.
An odd way to show loyalty to a specific driver, and the actions are bordering on the insanity of Ronaldo and Messi fans who battle it out online.
However, if this was an attempt from the Red Bull faithful to show their unwavering love for Verstappen, then it hasn’t been reciprocated.
The Belgian-Dutch driver spoke out against the actions after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix.
He said: “That’s of course, not acceptable.
"I mean, these individuals… No, I definitely don’t agree with that because that’s just disgusting.
"But overall, I think the majority of the fans which also were cheering a lot, I think throughout the race and also on the podium for every driver, I think that’s how it should be.
"And yeah, those videos, or video, of burning merch I think that’s disgusting."
Fans in the video can be seen wearing Red Bull merch and others wearing orange shirts associated with Verstappen’s Dutch following.
The viral clip has been viewed more than 630,000 times.
The incident comes just a few weeks removed from a flurry of homophobic and sexist abuse allegations that were made at the Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull’s home race.
At the time Lewis Hamilton condemned the actions, taking to his Instagram Stories to reveal he was ‘disgusted and disappointed’ to hear of the allegations.
He said: “Attending the Austrian Grand Prix or any GP should never be a source of anxiety and pain for fans, and something must be done to ensure that races are safe spaces for all.”
The happenings in Austria led to Formula 1 launching an investigation into the abuse and creating their ‘Drive It Out’ campaign, aiming to end abuse in the sport.
A statement on their Instagram read: “Formula 1 is all about competition and rivalries, but also respect. Respect as competitors. Respect for our fans. Respect for the whole F1 family. Abuse of any kind is not welcome online, or anywhere in F1.”
Featured Image Credit: Piotr Zajac / Alamy. @HarveyyC19/Twitter.