Last week, Lewis Hamilton called out some ‘disrespectful’ fans for cheering when he crashed out in FP3 in Belgium. Now, the 5-time World Champion has found support in the form of Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian urged spectators to behave like “true fans” instead of celebrating rivals’ crashes.
Hamilton’s plea for respecting the competition was a direct response to the tragic death of Anthoine Hubert on the same day. The Briton confessed on Instagram that the dangers drivers face are often under-appreciated.
Daniel Ricciardo agreed and was disgusted at the way fans cheered Hamilton crashing out. The 30-year old stated that their actions showed a lack of respect towards the Mercedes driver.
“Whether you like someone or not, it is not nice to cheer for someone’s downfall or mistake,” said the Renault driver to reporters at Monza. “He [Hamilton] thinks the crowd assume the crash happens and we are OK or whatever, and it is not like that.
“Every time we go on track there is a risk and every time we do hit a wall, whether we are OK or not, it still plays something on your mind when you crash. Every time you go back to that corner, maybe there is something psychological there.”
“So it does have an impact one way or the other, physically or mentally and I guess that is where he was coming from with that. I do agree with him. But it is also so hard because the fan, unless you race and put yourself in that position, they never experience what we do.”
“It is just the nature of being a fan of a sport you don’t compete in. It is hard to grasp or understand. All we can ask for is that if you are a fan, then be a true fan and respect what we do: not only the skill but also the risk.”
Daniel Ricciardo himself has acknowledged that he has not experienced such a scenario. However he firmly said that such behaviour is more akin to children than adults.
He also conceded that he never wanted to wish such a fate upon any other driver, friend or foe. He only knew it happened with Lewis Hamilton, owing to his Instagram story. He did acknowledge that it was not a crime to play favourites. However, he drew the line at exhibiting that kind of behaviour.