Lewis Hamilton has slammed Austrian Grand Prix spectators for cheering when he crashed during qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.
Hamilton started at Turn Seven, close to stands packed with Dutch fans of his 2021 title rival Max Verstappen.
“I was going through a bunch of stuff in the accident, but to hear it after, you know…I’m not okay with any of that, no matter what,” he said.
“A driver could have been hospitalized, and you will rejoice?”
The incident left Hamilton 10th in qualifying, although he was promoted to ninth on the grid for Saturday’s sprint event after a penalty for Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
Speaking after the sprint, Hamilton added: “It’s just mind-blowing that people are doing this, knowing how dangerous our sport is. I’m grateful that I haven’t been hospitalized and that I haven’t been seriously injured.
“You should never applaud someone’s fall or someone’s injury.”
Investigation launched into ‘unacceptable abuse’ over race weekend
Formula 1 has announced it has launched an investigation into reports that fans suffered “completely unacceptable” abuse at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Hamilton then wrote on Instagram: “Disgusted and disappointed to hear that some fans are facing racist, homophobic and generally abusive behavior on the circuit this weekend.
“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 the races are safe spaces for all.
“Please if you see this happening report it to circuit security and F1. We cannot sit back and allow this to continue.”
Ferrari power ‘too much right now’
Hamilton will start Sunday’s Grand Prix in eighth place, his final position in Saturday’s sprint event.
He got off to a bad start and dropped to 11th on lap one after being hit by Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly at turn one.
He spent much of the sprint stuck behind Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher but unable to pass because the Mercedes had lower straight-line speed than their Ferrari-powered cars.
He eventually managed to pass Schumacher with two laps to go.
Hamilton said: “Ferrari power is just too much for us at the moment.
“I don’t know if it’s drag, or if it’s power, it’s hard to quantify what it is.
“It wasn’t particularly the most fun race. It didn’t feel that fast. But like I said, I think there was something wrong with the car after that. ” [incident with Gasly].
“But a big, big thank you to my team for putting the car together. They worked really hard overnight and this morning to keep us in the race, so hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better.”
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