Max Verstappen gave Ferrari fan ‘the finger’ before later applauding him

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen on track in front of Ferrari fans

Max Verstappen on track in front of Ferrari fans

Breaking the hearts of Ferrari’s Tifosi as he shrugged off his practice woes to grab pole position at Imola, Max Verstappen responded to one fan’s “different” gesture with one of his own as he gave him the finger.

Struggling with the handling of his RB20 and a lack of grip throughout the Imola weekend’s three practice sessions, Verstappen went into qualifying facing a stern test from Ferrari and McLaren.

Max Verstappen: So I gave him the finger

But when all was said and done, the Red Bull driver had topped all three qualifying segments to claim an eighth successive pole position with a 1:14.746.

At least one fan wasn’t happy with how qualifying was playing out and let Verstappen know his thoughts.

The triple World Champion responded in kind.

“I had a funny story in qualifying where we were driving in the pits,” the Imola pole-sitter revealed in the post-qualifying press conference.

“A lot of people were clapping. Then one guy, he was doing some different things to me, so I gave him the finger. Then the next time I came around, he was clapping. So, you know, they learn.

“You know, it’s easy to be not nice to drivers, but I can also be not nice to you, you know! So, luckily he was a bit higher up. But it’s good. After that, I guess he appreciated it. ”

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Oscar Piastri jokes: Did you sign with Ferrari?

Oscar Piastri, who qualified second only to fall to fifth when he was penalised for impeding Kevin Magnussen in Q1, also noted the fan.

But while he wasn’t shown the finger, the gentleman clearly didn’t appreciate Piastri’s performance either. He, though, never received the applause Verstappen later got.

“I saw the same guy, I think. He wasn’t giving me the finger, but he was giving me the thumbs down,” he said.

“But he was clapping for you. Wow. Did you sign with Ferrari or something? Is there something we don’t know?

“I don’t know. I mean, it’s cool. I think in all sports, a little bit of giving the opposition some stick is always good fun, I think, and part of sport. Of course, there’s always a limit to that.

“I think this is what sport can be about. Sometimes, you look at all the football rivalries and stuff like this, there’s always so much passion on both sides.

“I think the Ferrari fans are, you know, the epitome of passionate fans. They’ve been very welcoming this weekend. Maybe not from a distance in the pit lane, but you know, they’ve been very passionate. And you know, these are the kind of fans that that we love in F1.”

As for Lando Norris, P3 on the day but up second on the grid after his team-mate’s penalty, he reckons the fan rather liked him.

“Yeah, I saw the same guy, but I think he was on my side,” he said. “To be honest, the Italian fans have always been extremely kind to me and very supportive. They’ve always been very passionate and great fans to me, so I thank them for that.”

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