Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has claimed that the boos heard after the Italian Grand Prix were not aimed at winner Max Verstappen. The Dutchman won the race in controversial fashion under safety car conditions, preventing Charles Leclerc being able to battle it out late on.
As Verstappen crossed the line, boos were heard throughout Monza, with the home crowd consisting of a large Ferrari following. However, Binotti does not believe that the chorus of jeers were aimed at the race winner, and instead at the FIA following their controversial decision to conclude the race with a safety car.
Binotti said: “Booing a driver is never great, especially Max, the fastest driver on track and a deserving winner, it’s not good. The booing from our Tifosi was more towards the FIA and simply by booing the winner, it was trying to boo the FIA.
“The Tifosi out there believed the safety car could have ended and [we could] have had a couple of laps for the show today, for the battles on track.” The FIA decided to finish the race as they did after officials failed to clear the track sufficiently after McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo’s malfunction saw a safety car called upon.
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However, Verstappen refused to rule out that the boos were aimed in his direction. Following the 24-year-old 30th Grand Prix victory, he said: “It happens, everyone speaks to me about it with the booing and stuff but at the end of the day I am here to try and win the race which we’ve done.
“Some people of course they cannot appreciate that because they are very passionate fans for a different team. It is what it is. It is not going to spoil my day, I am just enjoying the moment.”
Ferrari have had serious questions asked of them over the past few weeks, with strategic mishaps somewhat handing Red Bull the Drivers’ and Constructor’ Championships. Leclerc, though, was quick to ensure that the finger was not pointed in any direction after the race, with the Polish star saying it was simply ‘unlucky’.
He said: “We’ve been unlucky with the virtual safety car ending in the middle of the pit lane. We didn’t get the full benefit of stopping under the virtual safety car and we had to make the medium tyres last as long as possible. For the last laps, it felt like the track was clear but maybe there were things in the background that I don’t know.”