Bodyguards to protect Max Verstappen at Mexico GP as Red Bull star is booed

Red Bull have taken the decision to hire bodyguards for F1 star Max Verstappen ahead of the Mexico Grand Prix this weekend.

Last weekend in Austin, Texas, Verstappen claimed his 15th win in 18 races, edging out Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris. With the 2023 Drivers Championship already sealed by the Dutchman, which is his third consecutive title, any race wins now serve as icing on the cake.

However, in Austin following his win last time out, Verstappen was booed on the podium while celebrating his 50th F1 win. And the booing was attributed to the fact that many fans in attendance for the US Grand Prix were actually fans of Verstappen's team-mate, Sergio Perez.

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Booing and jeering ensued during Verstappen's trophy celebration, with chants of 'Checo', in support of Perez, audible. And as a result, Red Bull believe Verstappen may need some extra protection in Perez' native Mexico this weekend.

Responding to the news that Verstappen will be accompanied by two bodyguards over the course of the week in Mexico, Red Bull director Helmut Marko told F1 Insider: "Max doesn’t actually want that and is relaxed. But we have responsibility for him. So we just want to be on the safe side."

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"No, no," said Verstappen when he was asked post race if the booing in Austin bothered him. "In the end, I'm the one who takes the silverware home, so all fine by me!"

And even if he does receive a less than warm welcome in Mexico, team principal Christian Horner believes Verstappen won't be too fussed. Horner said: "I don't think Max is going to get the warmest reception in Mexico!

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"But that's water off a duck's back. One year you are the villain, the next year you are the hero." Four of the last five Mexican Grand Prix's have been won by Verstappen, with the Dutchman winning last year by finishing a whopping 15 seconds ahead of Hamilton in second place, and 18 ahead of Perez in third.

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