Mercedes took Hamilton fan to garage after sexist abuse at Austrian GP RaceFans
Senior Formula 1 officials have condemned the abuse suffered by some fans during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.
Mercedes invited a Lewis Hamilton fan to their garage during Sunday’s race after learning she had been harassed. Her dress was lifted by drunken onlookers who told her she didn’t deserve respect because she was a Hamilton fan.
“We found out it happened and it just doesn’t,” said team principal Toto Wolff in response to a question from RaceFans.
“This has to stop,” he added. “If you are a Formula 1 fan, whatever the team, whatever the driver, you cannot be racist, [sexist] and you can’t be homophobic because you don’t fit Formula 1 and we don’t want you.
However, Wolff stressed that the majority of fans should not be tainted by the actions of a minority.
“On the other side, we have to be careful,” he said. “Just because there are a few drunken, dumb assholes who haven’t figured out how the world is today doesn’t mean we shouldn’t condemn the 99.9% of fans who come here.
“There will always be these idiots around. Hope we put on a good show for others and they can stay home.
Sebastian Vettel said reports of harassment against fans were “horrible” to hear. “I think it’s good that this stuff is coming out, it’s a start. But it’s horrible.”
“Whoever these people are, they should be ashamed of themselves and banned from racing for life,” he added.
Vettel said there must be “zero tolerance” against spectators behaving in this way. “If people are having a good time and drinking too much, that’s okay. But that does not justify or excuse bad behavior.
“We race as one, so the fans are part of that,” he added.
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