F1 drivers and bosses have come out hard on the fan behaviour at Red Bull Ring which expanded from booing to harassment in the stands.
The news about fans behaving badly in the stands at Red Bull Ring spread in the paddock during the F1 Austrian GP. While there was booing which has been a common scene now, but it expanded to harassment, especially against women fans.
Several fans took the matter on social media about sexist comments and harassment, with or without the intake of alcohol. F1 were forced to release a statement regarding the matter as they pushed the promoters and organisers to look into the matter.
The F1 teams and drivers were shocked by the behaviour themselves and were disappointed by certain section of fans with a strong message from several of the leading figures after the Austrian GP ended.
In fact, Mercedes revealed a horrific incident of a fan from Czech Republic who had her dress lifted by group of drunk fans on the basis of her being a Lewis Hamilton fan and that she doesn’t needs to be respected. The team managed to get her into the garage. Much like them, even Aston Martin brought in two fans who were subjected to abuse.
Max Verstappen: “Yeah, of course it’s not good. All the things that happen anywhere. These things shouldn’t happen. I read a few things, a few shocking things. So yeah, that’s clearly not OK. And I mean, I shouldn’t even need to say this. I think this should be a general understanding that these things shouldn’t happen. A normal human being, I think, should think like that and should behave like that.”
Charles Leclerc: “Yeah, it’s horrible to see that. I’ve seen the statement of Formula 1 just before the race and yeah, I just hope that Formula 1 can do something for that. I don’t know how it can be tackled but obviously it’s unacceptable to see that anywhere, but obviously if we can do something we should and need to do something.”
Lewis Hamilton: “Yeah, I arrived with a really positive mindset this morning and then I heard some of the things that had been said and just in a bit of shock and just really sad and just to know that people arrive on the weekend to have a great time, to celebrate, to enjoy their time off and enjoy a great experience. And you know, if you go to the UK, we’ve got a obviously a wide range of fans that go there. Here of course you’ve got a lot of the Orange Army, and so when we do the parade lap, you have to look quite hard to kind of see the neon caps, they stand out a little bit better but there’s, of course, not as many as the orange here, but just to notice someone sitting in a crowd supporting someone else is receiving abuse is…
“It’s crazy to think that we’re experiencing those things still in 2022. So, we have to continue to do more. It just highlights that it’s still an issue all over. And it comes down to education, and, of course, ignorance. So, we all have to work together, with our platforms to spread that positive word, with all of our platforms, to all those people that are watching, because people should come here, should feel safe, should feel included. And you should be able to follow whoever it is you want to follow. Doesn’t matter. And it shouldn’t matter, your gender, your sexuality, or the colour of your skin, you know, it should just be everyone here to have a great time.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I think it is good that this stuff comes out, that’s the start, but it is horrible. Whoever these people are they should be ashamed of themselves and they should be banned from racing events for their lives. I wasn’t aware to be honest, but yes I think there should be zero tolerance. If people have a good time and drink too much that’s OK, but it doesn’t justify or excuse wrong behaviour.”
Toto Wolff: “I think first of all that needs to stop. If you are a real Formula One fan, whatever team, whatever driver, you can’t be a racist, you can’t be homophobic and you can’t be sexist because then you don’t fit to Formula One and we don’t want you. On the other side, we need to be careful just because there are a few drunk dumbarses out there that haven’t comprehended how the world goes today, we shouldn’t condemn the 99.9 percent of fans who come here. There is always going to be these idiots around, I hope we provided a good show for the rest and these ones can stay at home.
“I think it’s just people being stupid. I have no other explanation for people abusing — in whatever way, sexist, hedonistic, homophobic or racist you are just simply brainless. And no alcohol can excuse that. The sport polarises and triggers emotions, we want that. But again, we shouldn’t condemn all of them but put these few idiots out. We mustn’t come across as though we are condemning a group of fans, because we are not. I have seen them climbing on the fences and when Lewis stood up I looked at them and nobody was booing, and they were hardcore and drank and there was still no booing. There are a few amoebas people with one cell but let’s not make it a general thing.
“I don’t know what alcohol is involved here. This is a big camping site over three days, but I haven’t heard it from Silverstone or anywhere else, but I wouldn’t generalise it. We need to be very careful that we don’t put the sport that we love into a corner and say this is all racist or sexist, because it’s not. There’s still too much, but we just need to target these guys and pick them out and say ‘you’. This is what Formula One has said and we have said and that you need to report to the security if you can. And whoever reads my sentence: stay away we don’t want you if you are part of that group. F*** off. Can you write that actually? If you are part of that category, f*** off. I was subject to anti-Semitism in Vienna, although I wasn’t a Jew, but my best friend was and I lived in his family. I know how it is on Saturday morning to walk into a synagogue and have anti-Semitic abuse. It’s just terrible.”
Christian Horner: “I think regarding these isolated incidents that have happened, obviously, we do not condone in any way any form of abuse or bullying or racism or prejudice in any way, shape or form. And I think we stand absolutely united with every member of the F1 community on that. And I think that, actually, I was pleased to hear on the podium today that there was, certainly from where I stood, there was no booing for Lewis. And, you know, respect for all the drivers today, which is how it should be. I think in terms of preference for a driver or team, that’s always going to happen, the one thing that is intolerable is any form of abuse or prejudice, or racism, or homophobia or anything like that, it doesn’t belong in this sport. And we would absolutely stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our colleagues in the pit lane in that it doesn’t have any place in the sport.”
It’s our pleasure to host fans Mollie and Julia, who yesterday were subjected to the abuse reported by many at the #AustrianGP.
This is a small act, which must be part of a larger movement to combat the unacceptable behaviour on display.
All in. All welcome. All celebrated. pic.twitter.com/eapSPAiKy5
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) July 10, 2022
Here’s the statement from F1 on the matter