Hamilton landed his 101st F1 pole in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday, leading a front row lockout for Mercedes.
But Hamilton received loud boos as he got out of his car after qualifying and during his post-session interview in the parc fermé, which appeared to come from a large contingent of Verstappen fans sitting in the grandstand opposite the pits. .
Hamilton brushed off the boos, saying the reaction “only feeds me”, but Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas decided to condemn the response after qualifying.
Asked by Autosport about the boos, Mercedes F1 chief Wolff said he “has no place in the sport” but admitted that “emotions have been very strong over the past two weeks”.
“The stands are full of Dutch fans,” Wolff said. “So yeah, nobody likes it [booing], and people who have played competitive sports will never understand why.
“But you hear it in the football stadiums and you hear it in the stands. It was an orange platform.
OPINION: Why the tension between Mercedes and Red Bull will not subside
The F1 fan base has become polarized since the clash between Hamilton and Verstappen in the first round of the British Grand Prix.
The saga boomed until this weekend’s race in Hungary after Red Bull demanded the right to examine the incident, only for the FIA to dismiss the case on Thursday.
Dutch fans fill the stands to support Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Wolff said on Friday he hoped to “defuse” things after previously saying Red Bull had turned “personal” in their attacks on Mercedes and Hamilton.
While Wolff praised the passion fans were showing in Hungary, he called the boos “archaic”, and felt it was the result of what had happened since the Silverstone clash.
“It just shows how passionate the fans are,” Wolff said. “The tribal instinct isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I really like that instinct for the team too.
“If it was tribal, if they were passionate, if they were clapping and shouting for the pilots, that would be great. I think boos have no place in sport.
“I think this is a consequence of the events of the last few weeks. The incident was controversial, it was polarizing.
“We see the consequences in terms of the emotional expressions of the stands, the emotional outbursts.”