Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen condemn reports of fan abuse as Formula 1 launches investigation | #socialmedia


“Disgusted and disappointed to hear that some fans are facing racist, homophobic and generally abusive behaviour at the circuit this weekend,” said Lewis Hamilton; Max Verstappen, Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel also slam reports; F1 launches investigation into “unacceptable” abuse

Last Updated: 10/07/22 6:23pm

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Sky F1’s Naomi Schiff reports from the Red Bull Ring after an investigation was launched into reports of crowd abuse at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Sky F1’s Naomi Schiff reports from the Red Bull Ring after an investigation was launched into reports of crowd abuse at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and circuit owners Red Bull have joined F1 in condemning reported abusive fan behaviour at the Austrian Grand Prix.

After a number of allegations emerged on social media from people attending this weekend’s race in Spielberg, F1 has launched an investigation into reports of fans being subjected to “completely unacceptable” abuse.

Hamilton responded before Sunday’s race on Instagram that he was “disgusted and disappointed to hear that some fans are facing racist, homophobic and generally abusive behaviour at the circuit this weekend”.

“Attending the Austrian Grand Prix or any GP should never be a source of anxiety and pain for fans and something must be done to ensure that races are safe spaces for all.”

After finishing third, he added: “I arrived with a really positive mindset this morning and then I heard some of the things that have been said. I was in shock and really sad. People arrive to celebrate, have a great time, and enjoy a great experience.

“In the UK, there is a wide range of fans, but here you have a lot of the Orange Army. To know that someone sitting in a crowd, who is supporting someone else, is receiving abuse, it is crazy to think we are experiencing those sorts of things in 2022.

“We have to do more and it highlights that it is still an issue all over and it comes down to education.

“We have to work together to use our platforms to spread that positive word because people should come here and should feel safe and included.

“You should be able to follow whoever. It shouldn’t matter on your gender, your sexuality or on the colour of your skin.”

Mercedes driver Hamilton battled Verstappen for the title last year and condemned fans who cheered his qualifying crash on Friday.

Sixty thousand fans had travelled from Holland to turn this weekend’s race into a home event for Verstappen.

Verstappen said: “It is not good and these things shouldn’t happen.

“I read a few shocking things and that is clearly not OK. I shouldn’t need to say this, it should be a general understanding that this shouldn’t happen. A normal human being shouldn’t think like that or behave like it.”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner called for a swift response from the authorities.

“There is no place for it in racing or society as a whole,” he added. “We value inclusion and want a safe space for fans to enjoy our sport.”

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel said the abusive fans should be outlawed from future races.

The Aston Martin driver, 35, said: “Whoever these people are, they should be ashamed of themselves and they should be banned from racing events for their lives.”

An earlier statement from F1 read: “We have been made aware of reports that some fans have been subject to completely unacceptable comments by others at the Austrian Grand Prix.

“We take these matters very seriously, have raised them with the promoter and event security, and will be speaking to those who reported the incidents. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”





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