Max Verstappen slams 'disgusting' burning of Mercedes merchandise

Max Verstappen has slammed the minority of fans captured burning Mercedes merchandise, calling it ‘disgusting’.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team and the Mercedes garage were locked in a titanic tussle last year for both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships, of course, and unfortunately that has caused a level of bad blood between some supporters, which is not good to see.

Indeed, we’ve recently seen footage of Red Bull fans burning Mercedes merchandise and, after the Hungarian Grand Prix, the question was asked to Max for his response.

The Dutchman replied in strong terms, too, condemning the actions of the small minority:

“That’s of course not acceptable,” said Max.

“These individuals, I definitely don’t agree with that, because that’s just disgusting.

“But overall I think the majority of the fans were cheering a lot I think throughout the race and also on the podium, for every driver. I think that’s how it should be.

“Those videos, or video, of burning merchandise, I think that’s disgusting.”

Unfortunately, we’re seeing a lot of this in Formula 1 at the moment, with the Austrian Grand Prix earlier in July also seeing issues around homophobic abuse and sexism among others.

Indeed, in a response to that, F1 has launched the ‘Drive It Out’ campaign this weekend, in a bid to try and clamp down on those who want to spread hate both at the circuits and online, as well as in wider spheres.

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE – JULY 21: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing talks to the media in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on July 21, 2022 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

It’s clear, though, there is a long way to go and it’s perhaps obvious that you’re never going to get everyone onside but that does not mean it shouldn’t be called out, and hopefully such actions become less and less of an occurrence as time goes by.

Max addressing the issue in such a strong manner is also good to see and is exactly what is needed given his profile, and hopefully that goes some way to trying to solve the issue.

Formula 1 now goes on its annual summer break for a few weeks, before the circus pitches up in Belgium to race at Spa-Francorchamps and Verstappen will no doubt be backed by many Dutch fans making the short trip over the border, whilst he was also born in Belgium so has some ties to the country already.

Hopefully, the backing he gets will be vociferous and as loud as ever, without anyone letting the side down, and that goes for the supporters of all drivers.

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