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F1 News: Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc Weigh In On Austrian Grand Prix Abuse

Disgusting behaviour was reported over the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, with reports of racism, sexual assault, and homophobia plaguing grandstands at the Red Bull Ring. F1 admitted that it had received reports alluring to this, but is yet to release anything more than a statement.

It said:

“We have been made aware of reports that some fans have been subject to completely unacceptable comments by others at the Austrian Grand Prix.

“We take these matters very seriously, have raised them with the promoter and event security, and will be speaking to those who reported the incidents.

“This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Lewis Hamilton commented on what happened, highlighting the fact that attendees should feel safe:

“It just highlights that it’s still an issue all over, it comes down to education and, of course, ignorance,” he said.

“People should come, should feel safe, should feel included and should be able to follow whoever it is you want to follow. (It) shouldn’t matter (about) your gender, your sexuality, the colour of your skin. It should just be everyone here to have a good time.”

It’s been estimated that 50,000 fans from Holland traveled to the race to support Max Verstappen, who has now released a statement:

“These things shouldn’t happen. I read a few things, a few shocking things, so that’s clearly not OK, I think there should be a general understanding that these shouldn’t happen,” he said.

“One thing can be improved with security around places, keep people more in check.

“Sometimes when you drink alcohol you can do stupid things. I don’t say this as an excuse, but these things can be regulated. There’s a certain amount of alcohol maybe.”

Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari driver who took home victory after a dramatic end to the Grand Prix added:

“I believe that as a community, people who are witnessing any type of harassment should act and do something

“If we manage to find these people we need to take hard action, they shouldn’t be allowed to be anywhere close to our sport.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – JULY 10: Second placed Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing attends the press conference after the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 10, 2022 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202207100343 // Usage for editorial use only //

Red Bull chief Christian Horner also weighed in, hoping that the local authorities would be able to help:

“We are shocked to hear that there have been some incidents of abusive behaviour in the grandstands and the fan parks.

“This is completely unacceptable and we hope that security and the authorities deal with this swiftly as there is no place for it in racing or society.”

2022 Austrian Grand Prix 2022, Thursday – LAT Images

Ferrari also released a statement to Twitter, damning the behaviour:

“There is no room for abuse either verbal or physical against any group of people in sport. Therefore we stand together with @F1 in stating that this behavior is completely unacceptable.”