The F1 community is one of the most loyal and passionate sporting communities. The love for F1 among fans is so intense that you become a part of the sport just as much as the sport becomes a part of you.
With the incredible amount of emotion each fan carries, it is understandable that they can either be generously loving or uncompassionately critical of drivers.
However, the F1 community does tend to show a distinct pattern, wherein stereotypes tend to stick. Thus making the F1 fanbase seem extra hypocritical.
Starting off with the most recent race in mind, the F1 community had two very differing comments to make for either driver.
George Russell is nearly everybody’s second favorite driver at this point. He has been a sight to behold, driving the lackluster Williams FW43, and has been touted for big things in the future.
When he made a clear driver error, spinning off behind the safety car with his first points finish in sight, the F1 community was quick to console him. Messages of sympathy and motivation flooded social media.
But on the other hand, when Red Bull’s Alex Albon suffered a similar incident soon thereafter, the reactions were very different. ‘Albon out’ was one of the most seen comments, along with others suggesting that he should be dropped for Sergio Perez or Nico Hulkenberg.
There was no sympathy, no mercy, and definitely no motivation for Alex. Both made a clear and costly error, yet only one of them was nuked on social media.
Kimi Raikkonen is a man you can’t hate. His characteristic demeanor and attitude have earned him the moniker of ‘Iceman.’
Anyone who has watched F1 knows just how much he hates interviews. After 2 decades in the sport, he is famed for his one-word responses and gets the typical ‘Kimi being Kimi’ kind of comments from fans.
However, on the other side of the spectrum is Lance Stroll. The man who has been perennially hated by most F1 fans. When he attempted to ‘do a Kimi’ during an interview, the Canadian was called out for being rude and cold. Hypocrisy much?
This one is a bit of a hypothetical situation. But there is good reason to believe that had Lewis Hamilton made the same controversial remarks that Max Verstappen made on the team radio, the former wouldn’t have lived to see the light of day.
For those who don’t know, Verstappen flamed Stroll after a collision during a practice session in Portugal. Interestingly, for his seemingly racist remarks, the Dutchman escaped with no penalty from the FIA.
On the other hand, Lewis Hamilton has faced much hate in the past. He has also received copious amounts of criticism for his success even (go figure). Every little thing he does or says falls under the scanner.
So there is good reason to believe that Hamilton wouldn’t have been as lucky as Verstappen. This matter could have blown up big time had the Mercedes man been in the Dutchman’s shoes.
To conclude, sure, there are other reasons in each of them examples listed above as to why one driver is treated with love and the other with hate.
What’s the problem in admitting if your favorite driver is at fault. Similarly, is a little more generosity to those drivers that get constantly grilled too much to ask for?