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Red Bull boss Christian Horner says Max Verstappen 'accepts' British GP boos, and explains silence after Nelson Piquet's comments

Christian Horner talks to Sky Sports F1 about Max Verstappen's frosty reaction from the British GP crowd on Thursday and Red Bull's lack of statement in support of Lewis Hamilton after Nelson Piquet's comments

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has condemned the racially offensive comments made by Nelson Piquet about Lewis Hamilton.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says it is "never nice" to hear boos but insists Max Verstappen "accepts" the reaction from the British GP crowd.

Horner, speaking exclusively to Sky Sports F1 at a sold-out Silverstone, has also explained and defended his team's lack of statement in support of Lewis Hamilton following the emergence of Nelson Piquet's racist slurs.

Verstappen, the defending champion and current title leader, faced a mixed reception when appearing on Sky's live F1 Show on Thursday night, with many fans booing from the grandstands. While some cheered the Dutchman, he was the only driver who encountered any sort of negativity.

Although Verstappen usually enjoys huge support from a sea of orange at races, it appears many British fans have not forgotten his fierce title rivalry with home favourite Hamilton, and the controversial Abu Dhabi finale.

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Watch Max Verstappen receive a frosty reception from the Silverstone crowd as the Red Bull driver was introduced yesterday.

"Of course, Lewis is going to have huge support here," accepted Horner on Friday, a year on from Hamilton and Verstappen's big crash at Silverstone.

"Next weekend is another home race for us in Austria and I am sure we are going to have huge support with 30,000 Dutch fans there so that is sport. That is competition.

"It is never nice to hear boos for any driver and it is unusual for a British GP crowd to do that because they usually appreciate all drivers but, you know what, it is something he accepts.

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"Lewis is their favourite driver here, I have no issue with that."

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Sky F1's Jenson Button, Martin Brundle and Karun Chandhok have condemned the racist language used by Nelson Piquet towards Lewis Hamilton.

Horner explains Red Bull silence after Piquet comments

The boos for Verstappen also followed his comments in the media on Thursday where he condemned Piquet's racially offensive comments in reference to Hamilton, but also insisted Piquet - who is his partner Kelly's father - was "definitely not a racist" and suggested the scandal had been "blown out of proportion".

"Max is absolutely clear that he is fully supportive of Lewis and not just Lewis but any form of racism or discrimination," Horner stressed to Sky Sports F1.

Horner also defended his Red Bull team's response to the Piquet comments.

Red Bull were one of few teams who did not issue a statement or a supportive message to Hamilton when the news broke earlier this week.

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Lewis Hamilton responds to comments made by Nelson Piquet and thinks 'older voices' in motorsport should not be given a platform as they do not represent the majority.

But Horner believes the team made their anti-racism stance clear with their action against reserve driver Juri Vips, who has been dropped by Red Bull following racist comments of his own during a gaming stream.

"First of all, of course, we were appalled at Nelson's comments," said Horner.

"It is from an interview from some time ago and obviously we had had an incident with one of our young drivers at the end of last week.

"We took very definitive action when he had made a racist comment and we immediately removed him from the team.

"Then this comes out and we felt we had made a very strong statement through the action of actually dropping Juri from the team and not in any way condoning any form of racism and discrimination.

"We had put out a statement earlier in the day about Juri about having zero tolerance to racism, so to then put out another statement about Nelson Piquet...

"Of course, we are fully behind Lewis, fully signed up to the Hamilton Commission and sometimes actions speak louder than words.

"The action we took with Juri was draconian but in line with the policy we have."

F1 2022 heads to Silverstone this weekend for the big event of the motorsport summer. Join Sky Sports F1 for extensive coverage across the British GP weekend - the race starts at 3pm on Sunday, July 3.


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