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- Updated: July 15, 2017
While Lewis Hamilton missing a fan event ahead of the British grand Prix led to plenty of media reports, Max Verstappen decided that he would not give up the chance to get involved.
The youngster jokingly said that had he missed a fan event in Holland, his Dutch supporters “would have shot me”.
On his part, Hamilton defended his decision and said that he needed a break after the Austrian Grand Prix. On a more serious note, Verstappen said he completely understood why Hamilton gave the event a miss.
However, the 19-year-old said that attending these sort of fans events is important for drivers, whether they are local or not.
“From Lewis’s side, if he wants a holiday, he needs to take a holiday,” Verstappen said.
“If it makes him faster he should do that. But, of course, I think English fans would have liked to see him there.
“If I did that in Holland, they would have shot me,” he joked. “It’s good to do those things.
“It was a great event, a lot of people turned up and we did some doughnuts, even though it was not allowed.”
Asked if he would take a similar step between back-to-back races, Verstappen said, “If you need it. Everybody is different.”
Hamilton said he would make it clear “how much I appreciate and respect” the effort fans make to attend the British Grand Prix, and said he already did “everything I can to genuinely connect” with his supporters.
During the drivers’ parade at the Red Bull Ring, Verstappen had fired T-shirts into a grandstand filled exclusively with his fans and visited some who were camping at the track.
He said he was expecting to find some more support at Silverstone.
“There was a lot of orange (in Austria), it was good to see,” he said. “It’s always a boost when you have a lot of fans around.
“I wish I had a Dutch Grand Prix, but here a lot of English fans are coming. Last year the support was great, especially when I overtook Nico (Rosberg).
“It was good for the championship and I could see a lot of English fans cheering.”