Despite general belief, that Max fans never liked Hamilton, or actually always hated Hamilton, it is not true at all. Dutch Max fans, before Max entered F1, have actually always liked Lewis Hamilton, but mostly before he and his car became dominant.
As Hamiltons career took off, he challenged Schumacher and Vettel, that were famous for their dominance and their absolute eager to dominate. Schumacher was known for his speed, but also for his relentless way, he wanted to win, even if he had to drive into opponents. Vettel had a car that won 9 races in a row, but let’s watch out to call that out, as Max is on his way to try and do the same…
But in that era, Hamilton was very well accepted, was a nice driver, always happy being interviewed, had a great appearance for instance on Top Gear and was liked by very many around the world.
It was only after Hamilton and Toto Wolff joined forces, that dominance was no longer a nice suprise for a team, but something that had to be continued at all cost. The fight with Rosberg only distracted from the unhealthy dominance. It even went so far, that they asked for more opposition, better opponents, they genuinely seemed to want a champoinship that wasn’t decided by the summer break.
But Hamilton and Wolff were the topic of F1. They set the agenda, their news was the news, their truth was also the truth for the (UK) press. In the first season, they really got a serious opponent, the world was too small. Red Bull had to be stopped. The engine was too strong, they had illegal wings and they had Max. Max, who never was an enemy, became an enemy. His name could not be called, his team was even worse. They had to share that podium with Max and Red Bull. But they weren’t ready for that! Hamilton was supposed to take his 8th title, before the regulation changes and we can now see why that was so important.
Instead of being gracious in defeat, acknowledging they finally had an opponent to fight with, it became a sad mud-fight. Team principals taking digs at eachother, with SkyF1 as nasty catalyst. Hamilton could do nothing wrong, was never ever criticised, he could freely comment on SkyF1, sitting on a chesterfield with Brundle, talking down the long contract negotiations, promoting blm as his main cause, forcing other drivers to take the knee, being woke. He was never really questioned, not on his driving, not on his behaviour off-track. Everyhting was great, if not wholly. His clothes, for which every other driver would have been laughed at, were great. In arguments with opponents, Lewis’ voice was always listened to first and last. He was excused for Silverstone 2021, where any other driver would have been destroyed by media. It has come to a point, where his previous likeability is completely eroded and limited to his own small team and UK Media, especially SkyF1.
He is not able to compliment Max, although Max did nothing wrong in Abu Dhabi. He is constantly playing the press about it, at every opportunity, like he did last Sunday. He was wrong, actually, but who cares?
So, despite having won all these championships, his star may have risen in his own fanbase, but not all around the world. Being a sore loser doesn’t help. Playing games with drivers like Alonso doesn’t help. Where his fanbase may like everything he does or says, it is very well noticeable, that all other F1-fans do not believe anymore what he says. Not that he likes to fight in the midfield, not that he likes what George does, not that he and Toto are best friends. The outburst in Zandvoort proved otherwise.