Lewis Hamilton says he isn’t worried about misbehaving Dutch fans this weekend at Zandvoort.
In Austria recently, the seven time world champion was booed and jeered after his qualifying crash – before Formula 1 as a whole condemned a reported series of other abusive events from the mainly Verstappen-supporting contingent.
So with Verstappen racing on home soil in the Netherlands this weekend, Hamilton might have been expected to be bracing for a particularly tough grand prix.
“I’ve always liked being here,” the Mercedes driver actually tells Algemeen Dabglad newspaper.
“I was in Amsterdam on Wednesday evening where you can get such great food and with all those canals I think it’s such a cool city. I could live there!”
As for the seaside town of Zandvoort, Hamilton is under no illusion that he will be a fan favourite throughout the Dutch GP weekend.
Still, he is not worried.
“I actually really like it when fans bring a lot of energy and atmosphere,” said the 37-year-old. “This is Max’s home race but that doesn’t make it any less cool for me to see all those fans.
“It must feel to him the way I feel at Silverstone and that’s so special.”
The seven time world champion also admits to being a fan of the narrow, twisty, unique and ‘old school’ Zandvoort layout, which returned to the F1 calendar last year after a long absence.
“Why don’t they make more circuits like this?” Hamilton enthused.
“Those banked bends, a lot of elevation difference – we should have that in more places.”
Verstappen’s closest title rival Charles Leclerc agrees with Hamilton that the partisan Dutch crowd at Zandvoort is not abusive.
“Last year we had all this orange everywhere, but I also got a lot of respect from the fans,” said the Ferrari driver. “They were never rude or anything so it’s nice to feel so much respect and passion.”