Charles Leclerc was greeted with a hostile reception in his post-race interview at the Mexican Grand Prix after he collided with home hero Sergio Perez on the opening lap of the race, prompting a frustrated response from the Ferrari driver.
Leclerc got an underwhelming launch from pole position while Checo, starting from a disappointing fifth on the grid, got an excellent one bringing him level with the Ferrari driver heading into turn one.
Unfortunately for the home favourite, this was where the fun stopped. Perez launched an audacious move around the outside of Leclerc, turning in too early and making contact.
The Red Bull driver was sent airborne for a short time before spinning off into the infield. Checo managed to recover to the pit lane, but his crew were unable to get his RB19 firing again, bringing his home race to a heartbreaking early end.
While the wider consensus was that the collision was a racing incident at best and Perez’s fault at worst, the home crowd didn’t see it that way, booing Leclerc during his post-race interview in front of the stadium section.
This prompted a frustrated response from the Monegasque driver who said: “A lot of booing. Guys I had nowhere to go. I was a bit in between the Red Bulls and unfortunately, I touched Checo.
“It’s life. I damaged my car and unfortunately, it ended the race of Checo. On our end, we maximised our race. Of course, I’m disappointed to end the race of Checo like that but I really didn’t do it on purpose and had nowhere to go.
“We struggled a bit with the hard after the restart. Lewis was really quick on the medium and they managed to have really good degradation.”
There were, however, no boos for Checo’s Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen. The Dutchman cruised to victory to take his 16th win of the season in commanding fashion.
The three-time world champion was heavily booed by Checo fans on the podium in Texas last weekend, but an appreciative Verstappen enjoyed a positive reception from the home crowd in Mexico.