Sky Sports F1 expert Martin Brundle feels “very sad” about the fact that Max Verstappen was boo-ed during the podium ceremony at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen racked up a hat-trick of wins at Abu Dhabi after he won the race consecutively from 2020 to 2022. Apart from the 2021 race, the rest of the two victories came after a dominant performance during the whole race.
However, the root of the adverse reaction from the F1 fans at Abu Dhabi might root in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was the controversial race that led to Max Verstappen winning his first-ever Driver’s title, aided by some questionable decisions made by then-race director Michael Masi.
Added to that, it was announced by the FIA that Red Bull had breached the cost cap in their title-winning 2021 season. Plus the falling out of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez recently have all contributed to this hostility towards Max Verstappen.
This is not the first that Verstappen has been subjected to booing by the fans at a race. It has happened before at other venues. In the case of Abu Dhabi, the jeering started when Jenson Button called forward Max Verstappen for the post-race interview.
Martin Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports post-race column “I was very sad to hear some boos for Max at the end,”
Martin Brundle compared Max Verstappen with Michael Schumacher
Verstappen isn’t even the first driver to face this kind of hostility. Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, and even Nico Rosberg had to face this kind of treatment from the fans before.
“Red Bull and Team Verstappen could perhaps have played smarter hands in Mexico and Brazil and over the cost cap, but nothing can take away from their utterly dominant performance this season.” continued Martin Brundle
Martin Brundle also commented about how Max Verstappen’s domination reminds him of Michael Schumacher. Brundle was the teammate of the German legend when he was at Benetton in 1992
Brundle explained how Verstappen’s driving style was similar to that of Michael Schumacher. One thing common to both of them was that no matter how slow they drive, to save the tyres, they still manage to pull away from the rest of the grid.