Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton reacts to booing like Michael Jordan

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Toto Wolff says booing is “an archaic instinct that shouldn’t be a part of the sport”, but understand that the grandstands were “packed with Dutch fans”.

After getting another pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was greeted by a loud chorus of boos coming from the crowd at Hungaroring.

While Toto Wolff understands the emotions of fans, he thinks this behaviour “has no place in the sport”.

“I think that booing has no place in the sport,” the Austrian said.

“But you have also got to recognise emotions have been very high in the last few weeks and the grandstands are packed with Dutch fans.

“Nobody likes that and people that have done sports competitively will never understand why that is.

“You hear that in football stadiums and you hear that in the grandstands. It was an orange grandstand.

“I would say the booing is an archaic instinct that shouldn’t be a part of the sport but it also shows how passionate the fans are.

“Tribal instinct isn’t necessarily something bad, I very much have that instinct for the team too.


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“If it were tribal, if they were passionate, if they were applauding and screaming for the drivers, that would be great. I think the booing has no place in sports.”

After the incident Lewis said the booing only “fuels” him, which Toto Wolff compares to Michael Jordan’s reactions to similar situations.

“You see how much energy Michael Jordan was able to extract from negativity and it made him go extra hard and extra good.

“I think Lewis is not too dissimilar of that. Me and the team need that. The more adversity we face, the more resilient we become and the more competitive we perform.

“On one hand, it is irrelevant and on the other hand, you want to prove a point even more? I think it is a consequence of the events of the last few weeks.

“The [Silverstone] incident was controversial, was polarizing, ignited and we see the consequences and that is that we… we see the consequences of the emotional expressions of the grandstands, emotional outbursts,” concluded Mercedes’ team boss.

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