Formula 1 |  F1 wants to act on fan harassment at Austrian GP

Formula 1 | F1 wants to act on fan harassment at Austrian GP

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Since yesterday, reports of harassment between fans at the Red Bull Ring have been surfacing on social media. Their number and the violence of the facts reported prompted F1 to react and warn that it was going to investigate.

“We have been made aware of reports that some fans were subjected to totally unacceptable comments by other fans at the Austrian Grand Prix”F1 wrote on social media.

“We take these issues very seriously and have raised them with the event promoter and security, and will speak to those who report these incidents. This type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

The testimonies are multiplying on the networks, reporting many insults towards homosexual people, several of them having reported insults and threatening behavior on the part of certain fans.

“Hell” for some women who came for F1

Two women, fans of Sebastian Vettel, posted a photo of themselves trying to make fun of this problem: “Homophobic insults, Seb giving up and Max winning: only one more day in this hell and we are free.”

Other inappropriate behavior has been noted, particularly towards women, who are hissed at, insulted and touched by fans. A Lewis Hamilton fan reveals she was attacked on Friday by five Max Verstappen fans, who started lifting her dress trying to touch her. The next day, she was forced to put on a jacket, and congratulated herself on having been “only” laughed at.

Another fan is annoyed by the behavior of the men in the stands: “I pass a grandstand, whistles, shouting and harassment throughout my passage. It’s as if they have never seen a woman.”

Another fan reveals she had to “Fighting a panic attack until I left the circuit because I was scared. We are coming back for the race tomorrow but we will never come back to this Grand Prix, we promise”added this fan.

Another fan recounts her ordeal: “Just 1.5 hours after arriving at the campsite early in the morning, I was the victim of a misogynistic comment, and after that it got worse with inappropriate hands on me, and more misogynistic comments”.

Racism also invites itself in Austria

Unfortunately, racism seems to have been part of it, even if it is not what is most reported: “I’ve heard all kinds of swearing, but it’s the N-word that really made me angry. I think that’s unacceptable and I’m ashamed for the Austrian Grand Prix and its so- saying fans. How to do? I don’t think we’re going to see the Sprint tomorrow or the race on Sunday”this person wrote on Friday.

Another fan summarizes the behaviors she experienced or witnessed over the weekend: “This behavior is disappointing. My expectations were low but damn…racism, homophobic slurs, hissing, inappropriate language and wandering hands, and the list goes on.”

This is in addition to the boos on Friday during qualifying when Hamilton went off the track. This had been condemned by the main interested party and his boss Toto Wolff, then by Max Verstappen himself, who had denounced the behavior of his fans.

The problem of boos during interviews is often minimized, observers judging that the pilots can put up with them without experiencing it too badly. But Formula 1 will now have to improve the behavior of fans on its circuits, if it does not want the drifts to get worse from week to week.

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