Lewis Hamilton said he forgave the fans who booed him on Sunday after he survived a last lap collision with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg on his way to a dramatic victory in the Austrian Grand Prix.
The defending three-time world champion, who cut championship leader Rosberg’s lead in the title race from 24 points to 11, said he also felt that there was nothing controversial about his win or the crash.
“I don’t feel it was controversial – Nico made a mistake into Turn One,” said Hamilton. “He clipped the kerb and he went wide. I got a good run on him, he blocked the inside and I went outside.
“I was on the racing line, he was on my blind side and I assumed he was there. I went very, very wide as I started to turn – right out to the white line, on the edge of the track, and he collided with me.
“My guys said he had something up with the brakes, maybe – I’m not sure what exactly happened, but I came back on the track as quickly as I could – and he was still right there on the white line.
“He didn’t give me any room and I had to go on the grass, but it was ok.”
The 31-year-old Briton said he was surprised at the booing he received after the race when he arrived in the parc ferme and again on the podium when he was interviewed.
“Of course, it’s not great,” he said.
“This is one of the most beautiful countries to come to, the motorbike I have here, driving through the valleys… so, to have that feeling, and that response when you win, it is not the greatest.
“But I forgive them. Sometimes, that is the way it is.
“They have a right to have an opinion. I’m not quite sure why they have done it. It doesn't make any difference. I won the race... Fair and square."
Fans in the crowd told reporters that they were encouraged to boo by circuit commentators who said the last lap incident was entirely Hamilton’s fault.
Hamilton became the 250th victorious British driver in Formula One.
It was his third win this year and his 46th career victory.