Recently, several Formula 1 fans reported being victims of abuse by other local spectators during the Austrian GP weekend. Mercedes brought in a female Mercedes fan to their garage during Sunday’s race after they found out she had been harassed and abused by other spectators. Not just that, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff lost his cool and he slammed the abusive fans, demanding strict actions against them.
Toto Wolff Abhors Abusive Fans, Warns To Stay Away
The Mercedes team principal said that fans who show up to abuse others need to “f*** off” and stay away from the circuits. The abusive spectators told the female fan that she did not deserve respect as she was a Hamilton fan. Apart from verbal abuse, the drunk fans allegedly lifted her dress. Wolff lashed out by saying, “F*** off! If you a part of that category, f*** off.”
Wolff further said that F1 needs to target these fans and pick them out by saying “you.” The former Austrian driver stated that F1 and Mercedes have already requested the fans to report such incidences to security. Toto Wolff then targeted the abusive fans, warning them to stay away as motorsport does not want fans who abuse others. Wolff shared that the fans were being stupid and that alcohol was no excuse for their behavior. There was no other explanation for abusing people with sexist, hedonistic, homophobic, or racist comments.
Toto Wolff also pointed out that F1 wants to trigger emotions among fans. But it also needs to condemn the abusive idiots out there. The reports about the sexist and homophobic abuse surfaced on Sunday morning before the start of the main race. Moreover, several fans reported a similar incident after last year’s race. Thus, Formula 1 definitely needs to find a way to control abusive fans and support positive competition among fans.
Hamilton & Vettel Suggest Banning Abusive Fans
Lewis Hamilton also slammed the abusive spectators on social media and demanded a response from F1. The Briton said he was disgusted and disappointed to hear about several fans facing racist, homophobic and abusive behavior at the circuit. The former world champ mentioned that attending any GP race should never cause anxiety and pain to the fans. Thus, Lewis felt something was required to be done to make races a safe space for all. He insisted, “Please, if you see this happening, report it to circuit security and to F1. We cannot sit back and allow this to continue.”
It was not just Mercedes who condemned this situation. Aston Martin also posted pictures of two female fans who were invited to the team garage for Sunday’s race. The two women, Mollie and Julia, faced similar abuse and were invited into the pit. The racing team claimed it was a small step to help deal with unacceptable behavior at the circuit. Sebastian Vettel also called for strict actions against abusive fans. He called the incident horrible but was glad that such things came out, which is a start. The German driver said the abusive people should be ashamed of themselves. Along with that, Vettel suggested that these people must be banned from racing events for life.