Verstappen would be "shot" for Hamilton-like event absence

Max Verstappen has joked Dutch Formula 1 supporters “would have shot me” if he had skipped a fan event in his home country like Lewis Hamilton did.

Verstappen would be "shot" for Hamilton-like event absence
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 in the Press Conference
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, Max Verstappen, Red Bull
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Hamilton has defended his decision to miss F1 Live in London on Wednesday, an event the 19 other current F1 drivers all attended in the build-up to the British Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver said he needed to take a break after the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, which Verstappen said he understood.

However, the 19-year-old said 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 at Silverstone on Thursday.

"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 consider taking a holiday between back-to-back races, Verstappen replied: "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 for the previous race at the Red Bull Ring, Verstappen 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 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."

Additional reporting by Erwin Jaeggi

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