Harassment and assaults on fans, Formula 1 raises the alarm

Harassment and assaults on fans, Formula 1 raises the alarm

The organizers received reports of verbal abuse of a sexual nature against the spectators: the press release to raise awareness against inappropriate behavior and abuse

From our correspondent Luigi Perna


It was supposed to be just a big motoring party, but more happened at the Red Bull Ring. Formula 1 has received reports of sexual assaults by some spectators, who reported verbal insults and photographs taken against their will, while they were in the middle of the pit of fans who had rushed for the GP. The atmosphere is very hot in Zeltweg, with one hundred thousand people expected even today in the stands, mainly Dutch fans who arrived for their idol Max Verstappen. Not to mention the crowds that throng the campsites around the circuit, which at night turn into a real Woodstock, with loud music and high alcohol content. A climate that may have favored certain unacceptable drifts


F1 immediately distanced itself, condemning the incidents with an official statement, and the affair will be examined with local organizers and security to prevent such situations from happening again. Probably the police are involved, who have received the complaints. Increasing the inclusiveness of motorsport is one of the great objectives that the world of GPs has set itself, starting with a greater presence of women in races, to overcome prejudices in a predominantly male environment in which they have historically been discriminated against. That’s why women’s categories are also emerging such as the W Series and Academy for young girls who dream of becoming a pilot. It is a goal that goes hand in hand with that of the fight against racism that has become the flag of Lewis Hamilton, the symbolic racing driver. But evidently there is still a lot to do for real change.


It is the second case that sees the fans in the negative in the space of just two weeks. In Great Britain, spectators booed heavily Verstappen, British Hamilton’s arch rival in the 2021 World Cup, and here the “orange” supporters did the same when Lewis crashed into the barriers during Friday’s qualifying. Manifestations of intolerance (if not hatred) that are far from the F1 philosophy and must remain so. In any case, the service commissioners of the various stands of the Red Bull Ring have been alerted for today’s race, in order to ensure that spectators can report disrespectful behavior at any time. In addition, Formula 1 wanted to place billboards in different points of the circuit with an eloquent message: “Enjoy the race, be respectful and have fun”.

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