Max Verstappen sends message to ‘disrespectful’ fans ahead of Mexican Grand Prix

'It's always good to support your favourite driver but also have respect for others.'

Max Verstappen sends message to ‘disrespectful’ fans ahead of Mexican Grand Prix
F1 Grand Prix of Mexico - Previews
Max Verstappen says he has had an ‘amazing reception’ from fans in Mexico (Photo: Getty)

Max Verstappen has called for Formula One fans to have more respect for all the drivers on the grid after he was booed at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

The three-time champion was jeered while celebrating his win in Texas, partially by Mexican fans who were supporting his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

With the F1 circus now in Mexico for this weekend’s race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, it is likely that the Dutchman will recieve even more grief from home supporters.

But there have also been concerns over Verstappen’s safety as well, with Red Bull hiring extra security to accompany the 26-year-old for the next few days.

The organisers of the Mexican Grand Prix have launched the #racepect campaign as a reaction to the ‘unfortunate statements and attitudes in recent years and during the current championship we have seen’.

Asked about the campaign, Verstappen told Sky Sports it was: ‘Good that they’re raising awareness not only in our sport but lots of different sports.

‘I arrived Tuesday evening and honestly the reception I’ve got has been great, very nice. People always have questions about it but for me I’m here to do my job and so far the welcome I’ve got has been amazing and has always been amazing.

F1 Grand Prix of Mexico - Previews
‘Whatever happens on track should always stay there’ – Sergio Perez (Photo: Getty)

‘Hopefully it will stay like that for everyone and that is why they’re trying to promote that. It’s not only about here, it’s in general in the sport right now.

‘We gained a lot of new fans over the last few years and they might respond or act a little bit different to what we had before. Of course I think it’s always good to support your favourite driver but also have respect for others.

‘In particular, places like being on the podium while the national anthem is being played, it’s quite disrespectful when you start chanting through these kind of moments.’

It has been suggested that some of the boos were not actually directed at Verstappen but rather the Governor of Texas Greg Abbott who handed the winning trophy to the driver.

Asked about that, Verstappen replied: ‘I don’t think so. It might be both. But that’s fine. It doesn’t matter if it’s targeted to me or whoever. ‘

As for Perez, he too has called for better respect from fans and insists that his rivalry with his teammate won’t spill beyond what happens on track, saying: No, not at all.

‘I think it’s important that we give this message because I think the media likes to create this sort of rivalry outside the track. We are a great sport, we are a great example for a lot of younger generations. We should just be focused on the sporting side.

‘Whatever happens on track should always stay there and that’s the best message we as a country want to give to the rest of the world. There is nothing else going on. The most important is that everything [that happens] stays on track.’

MORE : 18-year-old British driver Oliver Bearman set to make Formula 1 debut at Mexican Grand Prix

MORE : Red Bull hire bodyguards for Max Verstappen amid fears of hostility at Mexican Grand Prix

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