Dutch Grand Prix organiser Jan Lammers has called on fans due to attend the event in early September to show Lewis Hamilton some respect.
The Netherlands is set to return to the Formula 1 calendar this year with a race at Zandvoort, in what is expected to be an ‘Orange Army’ takeover as tens of thousands of Max Verstappen fans descend on the seaside circuit.
However with a falling out between Verstappen and Hamilton following their collision on the first lap of the British GP, the Mercedes driver has been abused both online and at the circuit, with audible booing at the Hungarian GP last time out.
Lammers has called on Verstappen’s fans to “surprise” Hamilton with the respect he is owed, given his status as one of the sport’s greats.
“Sport must fraternise and we must not get into hooligan situations like with football,” Lammers told nu.nl.
“It’s also emotion – you don’t turn an Ajax fan into a Feyenoord fan and vice versa. It’s logical that everyone has their own preferences, but let’s do it in a civilised way in such a way that we surprise Hamilton with our sportsmanship and hospitality.
“We are talking about a seven-time world champion who can be compared to a Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. You have to give them a big applause in a stadium and not make assumptions on just one incident.”
Meanwhile Lammers is confident of a sell-out crowd given recent assurances from the Dutch government, which is due to lift some of its COVID restrictions for large sporting events.
“We hope and expect that sports events will take place from September 1 as we are used to,” he added. “We are not worried. It is a matter of tackling it and having confidence.”