Circuit atmosphere, Red Bull Ring, 2022

Mercedes brought Hamilton fan into garage after sexist abuse at Austrian GP

2022 Austrian Grand Prix

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Senior Formula 1 figures have condemned the abuse some fans experienced during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.

Mercedes invited a Lewis Hamilton fan into their garage during Sunday’s race after they learned she’d been harassed. Her dress was lifted by drunk spectators who told her she didn’t deserve respect because she was a Hamilton fan.

“We found out that this has happened and that’s just not on,” said team principal Toto Wolff said in response to a question from RaceFans.

“That needs to stop,” he added. “If you are a Formula 1 fan, whatever team, whatever driver, you can’t be a racist, [sexist] and you can’t be homophobic because then you don’t fit Formula 1 and we don’t want you.”

However, Wolff stressed the majority of fans should not be tainted by the actions of a minority.

“On the other side, we need to be careful,” he said. “Just because there’s a few drunk, dumb-arses out there that haven’t comprehended how the world goes today, we shouldn’t condemn the 99.9% of the fans that come here.

Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Austrian Grand Prix in pictures
“There is always going to be these idiots around. I hope we provided a good show for the rest and these ones can stay at home.”

Sebastian Vettel said the reports of harassment against fans were “horrible” to hear. “I think it is good that this stuff comes out, that’s a start. But it is horrible.”

“Whoever these people are, they should be ashamed of themselves and they should be banned from racing events for their lives,” he added.

Vettel said there needs to be “zero tolerance” against spectators who behave this way. “If people have a good time and drink too much that’s okay. But it doesn’t justify or excuse wrong behaviour.”

“We race as one, so, the fans are a part of that”, he added.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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99 comments on “Mercedes brought Hamilton fan into garage after sexist abuse at Austrian GP”

  1. Terrible things to do.
    But as Lewis said, they probably still feel the pain from Silverstone.

  2. Her dress was lifted by drunk spectators who told her she didn’t deserve respect because she was a Hamilton fan.

    This is unbelievable, what kind of human beings these people are. It’s time for the FIA to impose more stewards, security personnel and lots of cameras and monitoring in the spectators areas as a requirement of grade 1 circuit certification. Relying solely on the understanding and common sense of spectators is a big error.

    1. It’s what the dutch call “we’re so direct, we say what we think”. It’s their go-to excuse for being a**ho*es.

      I love our neighbours – I live 10 km from the border – but as sports fans, they just can’t behave at all.

      1. @tifoso1989 When reading a lot of comments/posts by Max RB fans over the last two seasons; there certainly has been an increased toxic energy and much less civill tone, there’s lots of verbal attacks against other drivers and teams are posted daily that it’s now expected. I’m not at all surprised hearing something like this would happen in the orange army bleachers (seating section). It’s unfortunate and sad to have this happen and its wrong.

        I think an important aspect to bear in mind, the Orange Army is not all dutch. There is a large percentage but perhaps we should not put complete blame on just the dutch.

        I also think Dietrich Mateschitz who owns this race track, owns the racing team and also is the primary sponsor of the driver who’s fans have been causing this. I wonder if he’ll speak up about this or just stay quiet and do nothing?

      2. So you think that people who live 10 kilometers away are complete different people?

        1. No, I don’t think that. It’s evident.

          Source: lived at the german/dutch border for 40+ years. We’re very different people.

        2. Even the intern borders in the Netherlands have different people ……

      3. Just so that you know I am not a Dutch person but have lived here for many years and I am not a white person. They are straight forward and self confident which gives a arrogant vibe but they are very wonderful once you come to know them. Hamilton suddenly started to comment how bad the fans are when his car was in trouble and people were cheering. He did not speak against it in Silverstone when the same happened to Verstappen but chose to speak when he encountered the same issue. Yes, its not nice but if you pretend to be caring you will be caught.

      4. Who said it was a Dutch fan?
        Showing your own bigotry there?

    2. Having studied and lived in the Netherlands for nearly 3 years.. I’m not surprised at their behaviour at all. There’s a certain sect of hooligans in the Netherlands that really spoil the reputation of an entire country. The number of times I’ve encountered racism out there is ridiculous. Quite a farce for a country that prides itself on being open minded and forward thinking.

      Completely agree with what kuvemar mentioned as well.. Their blunt and direct culture gives them the license to say anything an get away with it.

      There are a ton of great people in the Netherlands .. And obviously you can’t stereotype an entire nation, but I’ve encountered enough bad apples in that country to completely understand how this incident occurred.

      1. @todfod
        Thanks for the info. Sad that you have endured that sort of abuse. I came across some Dutch people when I worked in Belgium and they were very nice people. Not surprised though, I’ve learned over the years that you cannot draw a conclusion about a group of people or a country in general unless you live with them.

        Sometimes, you have a prejudice about a certain group of people but it turns out to be completely false. I have experienced this in both directions : people I thought were nice but discovered that they were not and people I thought they were bad but when I lived with them I’ve find out they were the nicest people that I came across.

        1. Dutch in general are some of the worst people I have ever come across. They are loud and unmannered, extremely cocky, self-centered, inconsiderate and completely rude. Where there is more than three, it’s where I don’t want to be.

          1. Can you give me some insight in how you have come to this conclusion?

            I mean did you live in the Netherlands? What area exactly?

          2. You guys are just adding fuel to the fire here… the article does not state the country of origin of the culprit. It’s simple conjecture to state it must have been “the Dutch.” From what I’ve read there were some 420000 people in attendance of the Austrian Grand Prix throughout the weekend with about 60000 coming from the Netherlands —only 1 in 7…

            Plus, the xenophobism in some of these comments is awful! If you want to understand other cultures better, read a book, like ‘The Culture Map’! You’ll learn that there’s always a culture that’ll find yours rude, loud and blunt.

            If that’s not enough, I gladly invite you to my home. It’s in Amsterdam. With over 20 million foreign visitors a year, it seems welcoming enough for many nationalities.

            I detest the behaviour described in the article and applaud Mercedes-Benz for their response. But let’s not drag whole countries down for this…

          3. You’re right man. You can’t put a whole country down because of it. My mistake to make the original comment and offend people. As I said, you can’t stereotype an entire nation. I met a ton of great people there as well.. And still have a couple of Dutch friends who I’ve been in touch with. People who live in Amsterdam are generally more exposed to other cultures due to the tourism influx as well.. So I never really had a bad experience while living there. Rotterdam and Eindhoven were slightly different for me.

            Either ways, there are a lot of crass people in every country.. It’s a shame to have so many of them in popular sports such as football and now f1

          4. Respectfully, this is a very broad generalization. I have had the opportunity to interact with several Dutch people while visiting Amsterdam and Rotterdam on multiple work/leisure trips and have never had any problem. Human nature is, to borrow an economics term, extremely heterogeneous. Labeling behavior by race/nationality is never a good idea, because any specific behavior does not characterize an entire cohort.

        2. To both @todfod and @tifoso, you are right and then maybe we shouldnt talk/think in nations anymore and just address people who are crazy that they think this behavior is even possible in 2022. I have lived in the Netherlands for many years and have hardly never come across racist people. So I guess it depends on who you hang out with and what venues you select to attend. I recently talked to an UK co worker who told me the UK is somewhat divided when it comes to Hamilton. There seems to be a group that is happy with his achievements but not so happy with his color. That was a shock to me as in my experience I have also never ran into racist people in the UK. So my outtake is that it are individuals or a group of people who make the others look bad. Netflixing the F1 sport into a circus also doesn’t help, neither does the aggression displayed by two team bosses last year.

    3. Mercedes should do politics, no seriously, world politics. I’d be afraid of them.

      1. Another facetious remark, not as clever as usual.

      2. The Mercedes team reminds me of The First Order.

        I wouldn’t put a ‘false flag’ operation past them.

  3. +1 for MB hope that made her weekend.

    1. There is a narrative out there it was staged, so they could get in at the teams. Somebody tracked the alleged victims and found they do this more often to get into a privileged position. Dont know if it is true at all, but multiple news outlets now report it. Would make most of the comments here hilarious…

  4. lets see whether some team or driver will again find words of excuse

    1. It seems that Verstappen did say it was “shocking” and “not normal to do this” – as reported here by E. van Haren, journalist for the Telegraaf adding that “sometimes it’s time to go to bed and not continue drinking. After consuming alcohol one can do stupid things. But that is still no excuse”

      1. I respect this, he needed to say something. These HAM vs MAX toxic relationship between the fans is now going beyond the acceptable boundaries.

        1. Yes, it is good he did say this.

        2. netflix and liberty watching and smiling in the background at their handiwork…

      2. Red Bull has now also put out a statement condemning the fan misbehaviour

        1. A little too late plus multiple times before this team has denied to condemn their fans and condemning racism of their drivers seems out of questions(Vips is still supported by this team).

  5. Aston Martin also had 2 fans whose stories were widely reported yesterday in their garages as special guests of the team to say sorry for their bad experience.

    1. Aston Martin fans? Or who knows maybe the team gave them those products, but really this far? How embarrassing really. I understand booing and cheering because well, it is part of the sport. However, this far into harrassment? Interestingly, as the article says, all three victims were ladies.

  6. I can’t say I’m surprised given the level of vitriol I see nowadays on nearly all online forums. Some of it is bound to spill over into the real world – the people that spew unbridled hate are real people who don’t suddenly turn into decent human beings when they’re in the stands. It is a real shame especially since the current trends means people like me may soon have to stay away from some races.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      10th July 2022, 19:04

      Yeah I agree – you see the level of hate on here…. There’s always going to be a bit of a rivalry between fans and that’s fine but it’s got more and more toxic over the last few years.

      Add beer and a pack mentality into the mix and you’re asking for trouble.

      I’ve always enjoyed watching rugby – you can have both sets of fans sitting with each other and whilst there’s a lot of banter back and forth, there’s no nastiness. Football is the opposite end of the spectrum and sadly, F1 seems to be heading in that direction now.

  7. It’s clear from the number of incidents that Mercedes have reported that they have set up a campaign against the Austrian GP

    1. You are part of the problem

      1. Great reply Avto! 100% right!
        And to Neil: your reply was plain dum dum dum dum dum…

      2. As a dutch race fan for 30 years I really regret to read all those negative remarks about dutch fans and the dutch in general. I think a lot of those comments are generalistic and even prejudiced. Abuse is never acceptable. And the hooliganism that is developing as F1 is becoming ever more popular is a development I detest. But It is far to easy and not fair to only attribute that to one country or the fans of one driver. For example I’ve always admired the British for their achievements in motorsport en their true love for the sport, yet I was amazed about the fans at the British GP last year who were cheering after Verstappen crashed hard in to the barriers. Or al the booing at the British GP this year. But probably I am mistaken and that’s normal civilized behavior, right?

    2. its clear from the number of reported incidents, that there happened this number of incidents.

      1. Definitely. Unfortunately, these types of incidents happen in every GP, and in every massive event, but they decided to report them publicly now. Corporations tend to hide their own interests behind a facade of good intentions.

        1. @markwebber Excuse me but almost every driver, every team (not just MB) and pretty much the whole of F1 racing organization has publicly spoken against what was seen and experienced by innocent fans this weekend at the Red Bull Ring in the orange army seating section but here you are some how trying to water down what happened this weekend, WHY? Your post comes across as if it’s no big deal to you?
          Yes, every time it happens is bad and yes sometimes it does not get addressed properly but here is a classic example that has been witnessed and addressed. This is not how it should be in F1 (or anywhere else) nor how fans should act.

          Why are you complaining about it? Do you think MB and other teams should not campaign against such abuse when it happens?

          1. I complain about the hypocrisy. They should campaign, but not just when it’s a convenient weekend to do so. Last weekend MB didn’t seem too keen to talk about this issue, it makes me wonder if it’s a genuine concern or it’s an attempt to stereotype the dutch and Max fans as “part of the problem”, abusers, and as you’ve already described them, toxic and less civilized.

          2. @markwebber as you written above: You are wondering if what was witnessed and videoed today at the Red Bull Ring is really a genuine concern or just an attempt to stereotype the dutch and Max fans?

            Even Dutch racing sites talk about what happened and witnessed it and there’s video. That doesn’t sound like some conspiracy or a convenience as you’re inferring. None of it should be happening at a race track when more families and new fans from all walks of life are coming to watch and enjoy. Civility and humility needs to be practiced more by all fans. The videos and witnesses of thus Sunday are proving it’s getting out of hand.

            Also, can you describe what issue MB didn’t seem keen to addressing at Silverstone?
            If they were similar things that happened, it should be addressed and not swept under the rug. Did you mean the booing towards Max or was it something else?

            Looking back, Toto and Hamilton both immediately addressed and commented that Sunday at Silverstone against the Verstappen’s booing. Team boss Toto Wolff said “booing was abusive”. “I think that’s unsportsmanlike,” added the Austrian.
            Hamilton: “It’s clear that we love the support the drivers have here and the team, that’s fantastic and the enthusiasm. But if you’re not into the other guys, just remain silent. I think that would be a good way.”
            “I think none of the drivers deserves any booing, whatever happened last year, whatever the competition is.”

            FYI: When Hamilton was booed by Verstappen fans in Hungary last year, the Dutchman Max Verstappen replied to the press: “it was not up to him to tell them what to do”. At least today Max spoke out this time about what happened in Max’s Orange Army bleachers.

          3. @markwebber its discussed now, cause it happened now. and its discussed to be a problem with orange fans, cause it is a problem with orange fans.

  8. Her dress was lifted by drunk spectators who told her she didn’t deserve respect because she was a Hamilton fan.

    Seriously? First expectation has to be Red Bull fans, but I would not be surprised if it is from other team fans. Guess the pandemic (highly likely) and last season just changes people and the way of acting. Now F1 is just like a football/basketball stadium/arena? I went to the race in 2017 and it was, among the 4 times I went to an F1 weekend, the 2nd best.

  9. well done merc.

    FIA and liberty are spineless for not taking this spiralling toxicity seriously

    1. Broccoliface
      10th July 2022, 21:27

      It goes hand-in-hand with spiralling (upwards) income, so they’ll say some stuff on socials, then laugh to themselves as they count both their teenage girls DtS audience income, and their hardened out-of-season football hooligan income.

    2. I certainly don’t agree with the behaviour, but you get poorly behaved people everywhere – following every sport, in every country, worldwide. It’s a small section of every community. You can’t control what people do or say, only react to incidents when and if they occur. I can’t see how these incidents make the FIA or Liberty responsible. If anything that responsibility falls on the track owner. It’d be like saying if there’s poor behaviour at a concert – is that the fault of the band playing?

      F1 is becoming more popular with the mainstream audience which is a good thing most of the time. But with the benefits of a mainstream audience, like increased crowd and TV numbers, more sponsors etc., come the downsides too – like more people who act like idiots coming to races. Leave it to security to deal with and get on with the frankly brilliant racing.

      1. @clay I agree with you. It is the responsibility of the track owner Dietrich Mateschitz and track management, who also owns the Red Bull F1 team and sponsors Max, they’re the ones responsible for keeping safety at the track; They’re the ones who decide on how much security there should be and what should be enforced (approved by FIA, F1 and local laws). I don’t think track management can be surprised this happened, as last year looked similar.
        By many accounts who were at the race, said no one was searched, at the gates security and only asked if you have glass bottles on you, nothing else. The track owner continued to allow alcohol being sold to drunk fans even after things were getting out of hand. There was no real signs of security being enforced at the Orange Army seating area, even when things got out of hand.

        I agree to what your saying but Liberty and FIA both also need to make sure track owners are complying to what is needed to keep fans safe and civility and not get in the way of racing. I too would much rather watch brilliant racing than seeing this toxicity happening at the races.

  10. Chris Horton
    10th July 2022, 20:23

    This is utterly disgusting behaviour and not my experience of the fans of a sport where I have attended 20+ Grands Prix over the years.

    Unfortunately there was evidence that the hooligan fan mentality had spread to F1 with the arrival of the orange army a few years back. What a pity.

  11. Living in the Netherlands, beiing a Hamilton fan and following mainly British F1 news, I’ve witnessed the hate online from so called Max fans. Most of them haven’t watched F1 before the recent succes of Max. The problem is not only the fans that are barely F1-educated, but is the overly biased media in the Netherlands. The media is literally creating this polarisation. Everytime a driver that has some sort of comments about Max, like Mick Schumacher after last race being pushed wide by Max, the media is twisting the story. As a result, Mick ends up as a crybaby.

    1. What media was that, and which commentators and pundit are you talking about? Because I say you’re lying and you are yourself polarizing based on these lies. Please be specific and tell me which people of the press said anything negative about Mick last week?

    2. If I may ask: what Dutch media do you follow? I mostly read journalists twitters, hardly individual websites. Wonder what sites have the most orange-tinted reporting in your opinion.

      1. From the few times I saw the dutch race commentary (haven’t seen much of the new crew this year though) it starts there. But the Telegraaf is quite bad and xenophobic in almost everything it publishes and that extends to their F1 coverage. Radio and TV often do the same in sports programs Ruben.

        1. Thanks Bas! I know de Telegraaf is and has always been on a sliding scale. Populist at best, all the way down to xenophobic and racist and whatever goes beyond that.
          However, when it comes to bias I’m not so sure that the media in general are very orange tinted..? Of course their focus is on how Verstappen performed, but (in newspapers f.i.) I haven’t noticed any disrespect to other drivers, disdain for their achievements or pushing narratives that Verstappen is god and that everyone else should just move out of his way. The commentary (both old and new) to me seems fairly ok to me. However: where it goes wrong (definitely at the old crew) is at the review directly after the race: celebrities with a vague connection to racing getting a stage to voice their fanboy-view on the race without interruption.
          But I’m well aware that I might’ve developed a blind spot over the years, trying to avoid those stories in general. Hence all the question marks and maybes.

        2. “But the Telegraaf is quite bad and xenophobic in almost everything it publishes and that extends to their F1 coverage”

          Give us an example please, it could be a link to a video or article. Perhaps it is a matter of perception. Let’s check it out!

        3. For context, the Telegraaf is like the Dutch equivalent of the Sun without the page 3 girls.

          I would hardly take that as normative for Dutch media in general, no more than the Sun is for UK media.

  12. Most Dutch people despise that sort of behavior, but it’s nice to see that all of us get condemned by quite a few people here for the behavior of a few. Your generalized contempt and disgust of an entire people is the very problem you claim you’re condemning here.

    1. @Freddie B

      You made a very good point and Holland as whole should not be categorized in this way, it was wrong. I think what helped caused this generalized contempt is that the Max fan club (Orange Army) seating section where several incidents occurred were overwhelmingly wearing the Dutch national color (orange); so incorrectly a generalization they were Dutch has been made.

      I will say the UK is also very much culpable of such behavior, it’s well documented happening in other sports. Whoever is doing it, it would be great if there is much less of it and all types of fans get to encounter a safe and enjoyable experience while at race tracks.

  13. Netflix has introduced new groups to F1 and unfortunately it’s getting worse. I’m fed up with the talk of diversity, acceptance, introducing new missions to save the world. It’s not a bad thing, but when I turn on the broadcast it only wants to hear about racing. When I open a Tweeter I want to see information about F1, not new scandals.

    The hate and polarisation is huge, mainly just because of the way Netflix creates F1 and the drivers. It’s sad, but the takeover by Liberty Media has its pluses but also a lot of minuses. The hypocrisy of people who are considered ‘stars’ also has a huge impact on this.

    1. Right, so Netflix and diversity made them do it. Good thinking there.

      1. You are missing completely the point.

        1. Well I dunno, the article is about female fans being abused and your response was to go on about netflix and diversity, so who’s missing the point here?

          1. My comment was about the wider context of current supporters and don’t suggest otherwise, or that Netflix has caused drunken boorishness to attack other people.

    2. Great point! I accidently replied to you to posts below.

    3. The bad behaviour against especially women has been a part of motorsport for a long time, not something brought in by Netflix or new fans. Maybe the fact we actually hear about it is new though? Certainly social media helped their story get the attention it deserves and might actually lead to some steps to help stop it.

  14. The FIA need to take action on the orange smoke. It is toxic especially in the dense clouds of it in two stands. If I were there I’d want my money back as any chance of seeing racing would have been slim.

    Are these ‘fans’ there for the beer, rowdiness, casual racism and ructions rather than for the racing.

    1. I think you’re confused about what the FIA does. This is down to the individual promoters/event management. Furthermore it had been done in MotoGP for the past two decades where riders are far more susceptible to environmental factors yet never the outcry that I see from the F1 set.

  15. Great point Markus!
    Indeed, what has recently chaged is Formula 1 no longer being as much about racing, but more and more about the cult of personality.

    “Netflix and diversity made them do it”
    That’s your statement, Maciek, as he said nothing like that. You missed or ignored the point he made and you just stated sth śtupid as a reply.

    1. I despair…

  16. Dutch “fans” are a disgrace.

    1. Robertob (@)
      11th July 2022, 6:24

      @amam Oh no,… you are not polarising at all

    2. @amam – there is nothing there asying they were Dutch only “fans” the picture is leading everyone wrong.

      1. well, orange fans, may have been mclaren fans… they for sure misbehave against female HAM fans. like racists comments probably coming from those close to HAM.

        Oh man.

  17. Tiaki Porangi
    11th July 2022, 0:35

    I saw some of the tweets by people attending the race in person, and the accounts they relate are appalling.
    They also – virtually all of them, ALL – claim the comments / attacks / racism / homophobia / sexism was by fans either spotting Red Bull / Verstappen / Orange gear and merchandise, or sitting in among fans dressed that way.
    There have been claims that the fans are overwhelmingly Dutch as well.

    The trajectory seems pretty compelling. Watching the race feed from Sky, I saw Crofty in among the fans and the beer was flowing freely. A combination of lots of alcohol, Max fans (whose dislike for Hamilton and his fans on social media is pretty pathological), and the infamous Dutch “directness” – in this case mixed with several -isms such as racism and sexism – seems like a very bad mix for anyone else attending the race, and for the venue.

    1. This race track is owned by Dietrich Mateschitz (owner/leader of Red Bull F1 team), I would be curious to hear from him what he thinks about all of this and what was seen and experienced by the orange army at his race track?

      Will he condemn this, will he try to change such things from happening again at his track or just stay quiet? I hope it’s not the later.

    2. Wait whaat? This happening in Europe?
      In Indonesia, those kind offender will be captured straight away.

  18. Time for the crowd to police its own.

  19. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
    11th July 2022, 9:48

    It’s so disappointing to see this is happening. F1 has finally broken the wall down to increase viewership and bringing in a cross demographic of interested people and yet we just cannot get along. With increased interest comes a different type of fan. I recall attending the 2011 Italian GP, I was sat at the first corner rammed with mostly Ferrari and Red Bull fans – lots of banter and yet no matter what team/driver you supported there was a lot of respect. So much so that when Vettel won the race that day there was a joined round of applause for the winner on his slow down lap. Thats the F1 that we all love – the toxicity of some quarters now just needs to go find another outlet for their hatred. It’s not cool.

    When this sort of thing comes up in football either the team or venue is sanctioned in some way. If this continues F1 will have to adopt the same approach, and when it hits the commercial bottom line by giving a race venue a suspension only then will we see an impact.

  20. Derik Palmer
    11th July 2022, 11:41

    A lot of this is if not engendered then at least enncouraged by Liberty and Netflix with their appalling ‘Drive To Survive’ series. It doesn’t affect me (because I thought the first episode was utter rubbish and haven’t watched any others) but there’s a weak-minded element in society that can only see anything in terms of tribal conflict; we see this in politics right now as well as sport, and its a trend that shoudn’t be encouraged, but Liberty and Netflix smell money in the personalisation aspect which feeds it. I fear that befre long we’ll see actual conflict between fans in the same way that football has experienced, and if so it will kill F1 stone dead.

  21. It’s not of course correct to blame the fans of an individual country. There are good and bad people everywhere. There is certainly more toxicity and vitriolic views in society in general these days and this has been encouraged by social media. Supporters of different drivers have become more partisan and I have seen this on this very site in the last two or three years.

    I have been to both British and Italian Grand Prix in recent years and have been sat in stands with supporters of all nationalities and allegiances. There has been comments, banter and roars of support and some people have obviously had a drink or two, but we’ve all been mixed in together and it’s been a pretty good natured atmosphere.

    I don’t like the idea of fans being encouraged to segregate themselves into areas with certain loyalties i.e. stands for the ‘Orange Army’. F1 has never been about this kind of football approach to support. I think this should be strongly discouraged. I also don’t think fans should be allowed to launch coloured flares. We have seen this before but on not such a large scale as it is today. If circuits won’t comply, there are plenty of offers to replace them.

    Rightly or wrongly, those associated with Red Bull and Max are getting the blame for this. So I think as things stand, they need to play their part in tackling this issue. I think FIA could start by strongly suggesting to circuit promoters that this sort of crowd clustering should be discouraged i.e. in Austria and at the Dutch Grand Prix. But it should apply everywhere and to all teams and circuits.

    Having everyone sat together. mixing and sharing the experience of the race weekend is what the aim should be. Perhaps circuits also need to consider how much alcohol they sell to people with access to the circuit. Making it more difficult to access will have an effect but I am not in favour of bans.

    1. You can’t get a drink inside the circuit in Spain, hence there are pop-up bars or the Heli-Bar just outside, you just have to sign out and back in again.
      On the other hand, when I went to Canada there were freebies being given out all over, and managed to sample quite a few before getting to the grandstand I was in!

    2. “Rightly or wrongly, those associated with Red Bull and Max are getting the blame for this”

      I don’t want to blame Max/RBR themselves for this. There are too many social factors go into it. As you said, having stands exclusively for one driver or team helps create the mob mentality, and the TV companies and the FIA are too slow to call out bad behaviour because a load of baying fans is good for ticket sales, beer sales, merch sales, and TV coverage. And the problem is made worse by all the apologists who say it’s just a bit of banter etc.

  22. I like how everyone blindly believes what these people are saying even though there is no evidence and the police and security staff had zero reports or complaints. If I was being molested or touched by people my first thought wouldn’t be hey I’ll write on twitter instead of contacting the security at the circuit. A lot of people trying to get attention nowadays and it apparently works because now she got to go inside the paddock.

    1. @filge90 The attitude from people like you is the reason why modern F1 is in its current state casually dismissing legitimate concern as a conspiracy or a Merc plot to make dutch fans of max look bad.

      After the assassination of Shinzo Abe in Japan I hope the FIA and Mercedes take extra precautions at the Dutch GP because the Dutch behaviour is getting out of hand and out of control!

      1. Did I say anything about merc or max? What does the Dutch Gp have to do with Shinzo abe? Maybe it was a Max fan that shot him right? Take your meds…

      2. After the assassination of Shinzo Abe in Japan I hope the FIA and Mercedes take extra precautions at the Dutch GP because the Dutch behaviour is getting out of hand and out of control!

        Strong candidate for the most obscure segue ever….

    2. Right, because the REAL problem is who a victim of abuse complains to. If the people who are alleging abuse took place sat by and said nothing for a few weeks, you’d complain they didn’t speak up sooner. If they say it to the “wrong” person or in the “wrong” forum, you complain about that. Quit blaming people for not reporting abuse “properly” when they are reporting it. It is a huge reason why people don’t report at all, because they will get blamed.

    3. Nick, @filge90, “even though there is no evidence and the police and security staff had zero reports or complaints”

      Can you tell us how you know that?

        1. Nick, thank you for the link clarifying that. I think there is plenty of evidence that sexist and offensive behaviour was happening. I think it was an article in NL Times which quoted some of things being sung at young women walking past, and it was pretty offensive by any standard.

          The stewards and security staff managing that area had to be aware of it and should have stepped in. The TV companies on site were surely aware of it too, and should have spent time addressing it. They could have gone up to the crowd and put the camera in their faces and asked them to explain why they thought it acceptable for a bunch of men to be making disgusting comments at young women walking past, and put the stewards on the spot and asked them why they are doing nothing about it. But then there is a danger that journalism might break out and spoil “the show”.

          I accept the police had no complaints lodged with them, but we simply cannot dismiss the incidents on the basis that no-one felt able to complain to the police so it can’t have been that bad, and I find it deeply offensive that some people are making out it is just gamesmanship, Merc try to make Red Bull fans look bad.

  23. I think Toto’s 99.9% may be a bit high. Just people who comment here, the hit-rate for defending appalling behavior is way above 1/1000.

  24. I was surprised by the number of orange smoke bombs released during the formation lap and half expected the organisers to go through a restart procedure after the smoke had cleared. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be in that crowd if I was downwind of someone flooding the area with smoke and I am pretty sure drivers have complained about it too in the past. Those things smell so bad, they stain clothes, and they are not good for asthmatics. But again, it is a minority of fans who cannot see that their behaviour is antisocial. In the UK, if you are caught even trying to take a smoke bomb into a sports event, you can be arrested and fined. Just last week, a couple of guys who tried to smuggle smoke bombs into the FA Youth Cup Final were fined and banned from attending any football matches for the next three years.

    1. Imagine you pay a lot of money for a ticket on the grand stand only to see a lot of smoke at the start because the guy in front thinks its a good idea.

  25. Charles Giker Campbell
    11th July 2022, 19:54

    It is a shame that you can’t go anywhere, and not be judged on your appearance,
    Or who and what you like, or believe in. The world has always been a crazy place.
    And it is a shame, that it is getting worse, instead of better. I am glad that race car drivers’ band together and condoned these actions

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