Sainz: F1 fans "too polarised" as title battle reaches climax

Carlos Sainz Jr says Formula 1 fans have become too polarised as the title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen reaches its climax.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari

Both drivers have huge fan bases who are active on social media, and as the fight has heated up amid a series of controversial decisions by the FIA stewards many have expressed negative views about the rival of their favourite driver.

Sainz gave his views on the subject when asked what he thought of Hamilton against Verstappen battle heading into this weekend’s Abu Dhabi finale.

“I think it's the ideal scenario for F1 as a sport, and it's super exciting to watch,” he said. “When I went back to my room on Sunday night [in Jeddah] I tuned in and replayed the race just to see what the hell has happened there up front, and why was everyone talking about what had happened?

“And I had the chance to watch it, and you realise how tight this battle is, how every race you have a fight between the two championship contenders, and how exciting and how ideal it is for F1.

“Unfortunately, on Twitter and social media, there's a lot of polarisation, a lot of, I wouldn't say abuse, between both [sets of] fans, but very polarised. And it makes the fight a bit less exciting when you see the two sides fighting each other so much.

“I think it's just better to be a bit more neutral, enjoy the fight, and let the best man win.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: FIA Pool

Asked if he agreed with Fernando Alonso’s suggestion that Verstappen was the driver of the season Sainz declined to give an opinion.

“I'm not gonna comment personally on who's been my driver of the season,” he said. “Particularly because of that, if I will say one, then one side will criticise me, and say, ‘Lewis has had a better car.’ Or if I say Max...

“It's too polarised. So I just don't want to take a stance, because it doesn't make sense, looking at how polarised, I'm repeating myself, it is in social media. But I think they've both done incredible seasons to be honest, I think they're both driving at an incredible level.”

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Sainz also urged the title contenders to have a clean race: “From my side I just wish that they can keep it clean this last weekend, give it a good showdown for the image of the sport, more than anything else, and for the benefit of F1 [to demonstrate] that we are still a sport, not only a show, and show good sportsmanship and a good showdown in the grand finale."

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