F1 fan spends £1,600 to fly plane carrying Lewis Hamilton message over Dutch GP

Lewis Hamilton will have been bracing himself for a hostile reception at this weekend's Dutch Grand Prix, but one F1 fan has shown his support for the seven-time world champion at Zandvoort is sky high.

While the locals will be cheering on Dutch racer Max Verstappen in the fascinating title battle, a plane has been chartered to carry a message through the skies above the track.

Neil Steele splashed out £1,600 to have the plane display the message: "7X WDC… SIMPLY LOVELY #TEAMLH."

After being booed by Verstappen's Orange Army at the two Grands Prix since the title rivals collided at Silverstone, more of the same is expected at the Dutchman's home race.

Lancashire man Steele, 41, decided to spend his hard-earned cash on the plane to remind Hamilton he still has plenty of people cheering him on around the world, even if they are outnumbered at Zandvoort.

He told The Sun : "It's a cheeky opportunity to show Lewis some extra support as he steps into the lion's den here in Max's back yard.

"I hope, a small way to get one up on the 70,000 Dutch fans that will surround and outnumber us few Lewis and Mercedes fans here at the track this weekend.

"We may be few, but as Lewis says… still we rise!"

When asked if he would ask his supporters not to boo Hamilton, Verstappen said he sees no reason why he should have to do that.

"Well, I look at it like this: you know when you go to a football match, you come into a home ground, the opposition will be booed at some point," he said.

"It is not up to the local club to go onto the speakers and say 'guys, you cannot boo', because it will naturally happen.

They are very passionate and they will support their local team.

"I don't think it is up to me to then say 'guys, you cannot boo' because I am not them and I have to just focus on what I am doing on the track and I am sure most of them are here for just a great weekend to see cars racing.

"Of course, some of them will boo but I cannot decide for them. I can say 'you cannot do this' but do you really think they are going to listen to me?

"I just hope they will have a good weekend."

However Jan Lammers, the boss of the Dutch Grand Prix, was told race-goers to show respect towards the seven-time world champion.

"Show your decency when a seven-time world champion comes here," he said. "We should be proud of that.

"It is downright antisocial and unwise to yell 'boo'. Respect is something you have to show if you want to get it for yourself.

"As motorsport enthusiasts, we have to show that we handle this situation in a better way. Make sure that other people don't have to be ashamed."

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