The three-time champion claimed his 50th Formula One victory in Austin on Sunday, though some in the grandstands didn’t appear too pleased by the result, with loud boos ringing out as the Dutchman walked onto the podium to receive his trophy.
In addition, chants of ‘Checo!’ could clearly be heard, with Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez perhaps the most popular driver at the Circuit of the Americas.
It has been suggested that some of the jeers were actually being directed at the man who gave Verstappen his prize: Governor of Texas Greg Abbott.
But while that may partly be the case it is more likely that the discontent was being aimed at the 26-year-old, perhaps influenced by his and Red Bull’s past treatment of Perez and his ‘boring’ domination of the sport over the past two years.
But when asked by Dutch media if the incident bothered him at all, Verstappen replied: ‘No, in the end I’m the one that goes home with the trophy, fine by me!’
And when it was put to him that the jeers could be ’ten times worse’ at the next grand prix in Mexico – Perez’s home race – he said: ‘Then I’ll still go home with the trophy! So that’s totally fine!’
‘I don’t think Max is going to get the warmest reception in Mexico!’ Red Bull boss Christian Horner added.
‘But that’s water off a duck’s back. ‘One year you are the villain, the next year you are the hero.’
While Verstappen – who was also heavily booed at the Miami Grand Prix in May – and Horner are happy to take this matter on the chin, Red Bull chief went a little further: ‘We are in contact with a lot of Mexicans.
‘The majority are very friendly and fair, but there are always some, let’s say enthusiastic people, who don’t maintain the fair sporting standard. But we have no concerns and are happy to go to Mexico.’
It is perhaps Marko who should be most concerned about the Mexican fans however, given the recent xenophobic comments that he made about Perez, which he and his team only half-heartedly apologised for.
While Perez has been under a lot of pressure recently, his bid to finish P2 in the standings took a massive boost in Austin with a fourth-place finish while his nearest rival Sir Lewis Hamilton was disqualified after nearly winning the race.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.