Lewis Hamilton has called out fans who booed him after he crashed during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion was going for pole at the Red Bull Ring when he came off the track at Turn Seven, near to one of the circuit’s grandstands, packed with Dutch fans of rival driver and current champion Max Verstappen.
Hamilton, who recently criticised fans at the British Grand Prix for booing Verstappen, expressed his disappointment at what he heard from the stands in Austria, pointing out that he could have been hurt in the crash.
Hamilton said: "I was going through a bunch of stuff in the crash, but to hear it afterwards you know...
“I don't agree with any of that, no matter what.
"A driver could have been in hospital, and you are going to cheer that?"
In the end, Hamilton qualified 10th in Styria, although he was later promoted to ninth on the grid for yesterday’s sprint event following a penalty to Red Bull driver Sergio Perez.
After that sprint race, Hamilton continued: "It's just mind-blowing that people would do that, knowing how dangerous our sport is. I'm grateful that I wasn't in hospital and I wasn't heavily injured.
"You should never cheer someone's downfall or someone's injury."
Formula 1 has launched an investigation into the ‘unacceptable’ abuse that some fans have faced at the event so far.
The governing body wrote: “We have been made aware of reports that some fans have been subject to completely unacceptable comments by others at the Austrian Grand Prix.
“We take these matters very seriously, have raised them with the event promoter and security, and will be speaking to those who reported the incidents.
“This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
On his Instagram account, Hamilton later wrote: "Disgusted and disappointed to hear that some fans are facing racist, homophobic and generally abusive behaviour at the circuit this weekend.
"Attending the Austrian Grand Prix or any GP should never be a source of anxiety and pain for fans and something must be done to ensure that races are safe spaces for all.
"Please, if you see this happening, report it to circuit security and to F1. We cannot sit back and allow this to continue."
Hamilton will start today’s race in eighth place, where he finished after the sprint yesterday.
He currently sits in sixth place in the overall standings, whilst Max Verstappen took pole position and sits top of the championship standings.
Featured Image Credit: Getty/Alamy
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