Daniel Ricciardo has called on Formula 1 fans to show greater respect to drivers after Lewis Hamilton’s crash in practice for the Belgian Grand Prix was cheered by fans at Spa.

Hamilton spun off the circuit and into the wall at speed during FP3 at Spa last Saturday, with the onboard audio from his car picking up cheers from sections of the crowd, much of which was made up of Max Verstappen fans. Hamilton called out the boos afterward, saying it acted as greater motivation to him.

In the wake of Anthoine Hubert’s death at Spa in the Formula 2 race last Saturday, many drivers have spoken about the danger and risk of racing, with Ricciardo highlighting the need for greater respect to be shown by fans.

“Whether you like somebody or not, it is not nice to cheer for someone’s downfall or mistake. [Lewis] thinks the crowd assumes that the crash was OK, but it is not like that,” Ricciardo said.

“Every time we go on track there is a risk, and every time we do hit a wall, whether we are OK or not, it is still plays something on your mind. If you crash, every time you go back to that corner there is something physiological there. It does have an impact one way or another, physically or mentally.

“It is also so hard because a fan, unless you race and put yourself in that position, they can never experience what we do. It is just the nature of being a fan in a sport you don’t compete in.

“It is hard to really grasp or understand. All we can ask for is you are a fan then be a true fan and respect what we do, the skill and the risks.”

Asked if he’d ever heard the crowd cheering after one of his own crashes, Ricciardo said: “Fortunately not, and I don’t wish that on anyone.

“You don’t have to like every driver, but also to behave like that… You’d expect it from kids, not adults.

“You just hope they’d behave better.”

 

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