Lewis Hamilton believes the post-British Grand Prix reaction by Red Bull's top brass sparked the wave of booing suffered by the Mercedes driver in Hungary, but Helmut Marko disagrees.
Hamilton's was jeered by a grandstand full of Max Verstappen fans on Saturday at the Hungaroring after claiming his 101st career pole in F1.
Speaking after qualifying in Budapest, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the booing was a direct consequence of the scathing criticism and aggressive words fired at Hamilton and at the Brackley squad in the aftermath of the Briton's run-in with Verstappen at Silverstone.
Hamilton remained cool and composed against a backdrop of loud hecklers as he was interviewed after clinching pole against, but the seven-time world champion echoed his team boss's view.
"It’s not a surprise to me, given the things that have been said from the heads of that team [Red Bull] that have incited that," said Hamilton who was also the target of racial abuse on social media after the British Grand Prix.
"Over this break, people really need to look within at the things that have been said, because it is unacceptable the things that have been said and, on top of that, the things that have escalated, the fire that it’s caused.
"They’ve just had to fire someone for things that were said. I don’t know who it was about, it doesn’t matter who it was about.
"If I pass it to my friend or my father or my brother, we all feel that pain of what they meant by those words.
"I’m really proud of my team for staying focused during this time because it has been a whirlwind of emotions and things coming at us in all different directions.
"But we’ve kept our heads down and come here and delivered and I am really, really proud of everybody."
After qualifying, Marko suggested that the booing directed at Hamilton had erupted as a result of the Mercedes driver's "games" in Q3, when he did a particularly slow out-lap that hindered Verstappen's ability to prepare for a final flyer.
"We knew that Hamilton was very, very fast," Marko told Servus TV.
"But we thought we could at least get Bottas on the second attempt. But with his games that the audience acknowledged with their great whistling, Hamilton prevented Max from doing a quicker time.
"From a sporting point of view, I don’t see that as the right thing to do."
Ultimately, Hamilton believed that yesterday's jeering had done little to boost Formula 1's image.
"I'm a sporting fan," he said. "So I watch, I've never booed any team before in any other sport, because it's just not my character.
"But, of course, I want one team to win more than other or something like that but I've seen that it's... we've grown up around it, we know what it is.
"But we do have to be so careful with our words, particularly as young kids watching this, and we were supposed to be shining a light and encouraging people out there, right? And spreading positivity.