Verstappen brushes off “normal” boos from Miami F1 crowd

Formula 1 world champion and 2023 Miami Grand Prix victor Max Verstappen has brushed aside boos he received during the ceremonial grid introduction and on the Floridian podium.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, arrives on the podium

For the second edition of the Miami round, the pre-race procedure was amended.

All 20 drivers were revealed to the crowd through a temporary gantry on the main straight and were accompanied by an introduction from American rapper LL Cool J.

PLUS: How Verstappen won the Miami GP

As the championship leader, Red Bull driver Verstappen was the last to be presented and his arrival was greeted with a mixed reception that included some boos from the grandstand.

In the race, he climbed from ninth on the grid to pass his polesitting team-mate Sergio Perez to win by 5.4 seconds. He then seemingly received more jeers when on the podium.

Asked if it had any effect, Verstappen reckoned he was only a target because of his success.

He said: “I think if I will be driving in the back, nobody will be even doing anything in terms of reaction, right? It's normal when you're winning and they don't like who is winning.

“So, this is something for me which is absolutely fine as long as I stand on the top. That's, for me, the most important.

“I take the trophy home and they go back to their houses and they can have a nice evening.”

In public, Verstappen was among the less critical drivers when assessing the enhanced grid procedure, the format of which will be reused sporadically by F1 owner Liberty Media.

Verstappen stated a preference to remain out of the spotlight but acknowledged the value of the ceremony’s “entertainment”.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, 1st position, arrives in Parc Ferme

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, 1st position, arrives in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

He said: “To be honest, I did have enough preparation before to speak to my engineers and stuff for the race.

“But personally, I think this is just a bit of a personality thing, right? Some people like to be more in the spotlight, some people don't. I personally don't.

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“What they did is not necessary. I prefer to just talk to my engineers, walk to my car, put the helmet on and drive.

“But, of course, I understand the entertainment value. I just hope we don't have that every single time, because we have a very long season, so we don't need an entry like that every time.”

Runner-up Perez, meanwhile, was among the most popular drivers when presented as part of the pre-race grid ceremony. On the showy entry, he the Mexican said: “Well, I just want to thank [the fans] for all their support.

“The support they gave me, I really wanted the win, it would have meant a lot to me.”

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