Would you boo at an F1 race? (Video)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Schumacher and Barrichello were booed on the podium at Austria in 2002
Schumacher and Barrichello were booed on the podium at Austria in 2002

Lewis Hamilton got an unsurprisingly hostile welcome from sections of the crowd at Valencia during last weekend’s European Grand Prix. (However there have been no reports of any repeat of the racist taunting directed at him in Spain earlier this year).

Hamilton’s not the first driver to have been the target of a hostile crowd either – see a video below of Fernando Alonso getting an earful from the Ferrari fans at Monza in 2006.

Fans booing players is a big thing in some sports – Kyle Busch gets booed in NASCAR and in football they even boo members of their own team for reasons I won’t pretend to understand. Would you boo anyone at an F1 race?

Here’s Fernando Alonso being booed by the Tifosi at Monza after retiring from the 2006 race:

Alonso was locked in a close battle with Michael Schumacher for the championship battle at the time.

I find that video a bit surprising because I went to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last year and sat in the very same stand, surrounded by Ferrari fans. But I never felt for a second that they were particularly hostile towards McLaren, Hamilton or Alonso, despite the championship situation and spygate rumbling on at the time.

Perhaps it was something to do with the fans who turned up? Perhaps Michael Schumacher inspired the wrong kind of F1 fanaticism? Or maybe they were jsut subdued because McLaren ran away with the race.

One of the most famous examples of F1 fans booing was at Austria in 2002:

On that occasion Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello was ordered to surrender his lead to Michael Schumacher, and did so within metres of the line.

Whatever team you’re supporting, the sight of an F1 race being fixed in such a blatant and unsporting way, especially if you’ve paid hundreds of pounds/euros/dollars to see it, is going to rankle.

I don’t think I’d be moved to boo a driver I didn’t like, but I probably would have joined in the booing on that day if I’d paid moeny to see that race. They were even booed by the press in the post-race conference.

Would you boo at an F1 race? Have you booed at an F1 driver? If so, who?

46 comments on “Would you boo at an F1 race? (Video)”

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  1. I booed at the Spanish crowd that booed at Hamilton during preperations for the race at Barcelona. I thought they were acting very childish. Does that count?

  2. The only instance that I would have booed at a race would be either at Indy 2005 or A1 Ring 2002.

  3. I was in Austria 2002 and it was incredible how many people bood, even my girlfriend and I bood because Rubens was really fast, i was even telling my girlfriend that it was more logicall to forget a tyre in the garage so the Schumacher could get his advantage and then it happend.

  4. I booed at Hamilton being towed from the gravel at Nurburgring 2007 – was really unfair: there were 2 or 3 more cars near him, but noone got the same service

  5. Likewise ukk.

    Oh and I boo everytime Hamilton wins, but that’s just my own pettiness.

  6. I’m in absolute awe of F1 drivers so I personally wouldn’t boo (actually that’s not quite true, I may well do so in the case of Michael Schumacher).

    I can understand why people do boo, though; F1 is a bit like a pantomime where the driver who gets your full support is the hero and his main rival is the villain.

  7. Jonesracing82
    28th August 2008, 9:23

    like the ****** in the alonso vid jeering and carrying on then asking “is that alonso or fisi”.

  8. indeed kester and UKK, the ongoing joke in encyclopedia’s (such as wiki) is that young lewis has a pet crane that helps him win races.

  9. haha Alex Cooper, so true, didn’t anyone tell Fisi at Suzuka about kimi “HE’S BEHIND YOU!”

  10. I think it’s all in the atmosphere. Home turf is great when your competitors get an earful. I know sportsman who enjoy it, and sometimes perform better because of it. Kevin Pieterson playing against South Africa is an example. South Africans love to hate him… but for him and the fans alike, it’s all in the fun. They share jokes if he’s ever near the boundary… nothing malicious. When it is malicious, then it’s unacceptable. Alonso and Hamilton acknowledged this. Keep it clean, and keep it fun!


  11. a bit off-topic, but a funny crowd reaction again from Nurburgring 2007:

    A new chicane was introduced in 2007 which was named after Michael Schumacher (btw, Ham crashed into it on that Saturday ;-) )
    The new chicane was to be announced before the race, by Michael.
    So the organizers announced “And now Michael Schumacher will uncover the new Schumacher’s S!”
    Try reading it loud and you’ll understand why the whole crowd bursted into laughter :-)

  12. Great anecdote, ukk! These are the bits of coverage we don’t see on the telly. :)

  13. Disclaimer: I’m English, but I live in Melbourne, Australia.

    The incumbent natives have this rather bizarre sport they call football..AFL (although they rarely use their feet)

    Booing is all part of the game for the supporters. They actually consider it some kind of audience participation. “The power of the BOO.”

    So when the opposing team is lining up for a goal, all of the supporters crack out the biggest round of booing you could ever possibly imagine, in the hope that the kicker is put off his aim. It’s all part of the game. Quite amusing though, in context.

  14. I boo Alonso every time he comes on screen, because of how he screwed over Lewis last year

  15. The other Pope
    28th August 2008, 12:52

    I boo Hamilton every time he comes on screen, because of how he and Dennis screwed over Fernando last year.

  16. Senna was booed in Brazil when he spun off in practice 1, in his last Gp at home.

    Schumacher, last career GP in Brazil, there was that apposite of boo, like a crowd futball ahh! every time he overlooked somebody or for something less then that in the race.

  17. I take a lot of enjoyment from F1, the good and the bad times, espically towards whoever I am supporting as a team/driver.

    I do see a lot of entertainment in the characters that F1 generates, they are our Hero’s and Villans, whic provoke emotion. I will admit I Boo (with my tongue in cheek) if my favourite driver has been beaten by his Nemesis, or if they have done something controversial, but only on those grounds. I have never boo’ed out of spite or for personality reasons. I admit to booing as I cheer as much for the winner, so for every emotion I experience there is an opposite should the result be round the other way. However when I am at a race I am more reserved as I am aware my behavior can influence others, and the world is watching me (well not just me)

    If I was at Indy 2005 when the race was a mockery because of the tires, I would have booed the Fia for not reaching a sporting agreement to the problem, in order to make a statement.

  18. @ James, post 13:

    I am an “incumbent native” of Western Australia, but I do not take offence at your comments, as I share your view that AFL is bizarre. I’ve never liked it (now that’s bizarre! ;) ). But, if AFL wasn’t so “bizarre”, then maybe I wouldn’t have found F1! :D

  19. personally i wouldn’t, it just seems silly and why “boo” when you can rip them to shreds in the blogs and forums-right? however, i was in canada in ’98 or ’99 when schumacher came out of the pits and nearly took out frentzen. all three stands at turn 2 were full of fans booing michael–even the ferrari fans. that continued for a couple more laps every time michaal came around. it was pretty funny.

  20. i’ve read on other forums that in one stand people where making
    monkey chants at a black man who was wearing a mclearn t-shirt.
    i was at the race, but i only heard booing whenever hamilton came up on the screens.
    but i did wonder what would have happened if he had won the race.

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