Reports of abuse and inappropriate behavior from the fans have been emerging rapidly in the Formula 1 championships. While booing and abusing is nothing new in motorsport, it has risen rapidly after the last year’s fierce rivalry between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. The duo showcased a breathtaking battle throughout the season when they headed for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi after colliding twice in Silverstone and Monza. There have been several instances this season as well when the fans have showcased inappropriate behavior during the races.
The most recent incident transpired in Hungary when a video of Verstappen fans emerged as they were seen burning Lewis Hamilton merchandise. The fan dressed in a Verstappen supporter kit set a Mercedes cap on fire, and a person recorded the moment in a passing car.
Max Verstappen recently criticized the incident and regarded the fan’s behavior as disgusting. The reigning world champ condemned the behavior and deemed it unacceptable. Max stated that he definitely disagrees with the incident because it was quite disgusting. However, the Dutchman pointed out that most of the fans cheered a lot throughout the race and also on the podium for every driver. The 24-year-old added, “And yeah, those videos, or video, of burning merch I think that’s disgusting.”
Formula 1 Condemns Fans Abuse By Releasing A Educational Video
The misfortunes in Hungary were not the first incident of abuse that happened this season. In Austria, several fans reported that they were exposed to homophobia and racism from Verstappen fans. Moreover, the Dutchman was also booed by the British crowd in Silverstone during his interview. Not just Verstappen, many drivers have received abuse from fans online and in the real world. Thus, Formula 1 launched the ‘Drive It Out’ campaign to tackle the negative responses from the fans online and in the real world. The sporting body released a video featuring all F1 drivers, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, and FIA president Mohammed bin Sulayem.
Formula 1 recognizes that while passion and competition are an important part of the sport, it could go too far. As a result, fans, journalists, presenters, and drivers receive abuse both verbally and online. The sporting body claimed that abuse and offensive comments are unwelcome and unacceptable in F1. Several teams also called for a lifetime ban for individuals abusing other fans and drivers.
Sergio Perez reckoned that such people do not represent motorsport, do not share the F1’s values, and are not welcomed. Moreover, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was harsher as he asked such abusive individuals to “f**k off.”He urged the fans to report such entities to security. The Austrian added, “We just need to target these guys and pick them out and say “you.”