Homophobic, sexist, racist insults and insults … Last weekend, numerous acts of harassment were reported inside the Red Bull Ring, which provoked a reaction from F1 and the drivers.
“It’s horrible to see this” commented without wheels Charles Leclerc, who is awaiting firm FIA action on the issue.
“I saw the Formula 1 statement just before the race and yes, I just hope Formula 1 can do something about it. I don’t know how that can be fixed, but it’s obviously unacceptable to see it anywhere, but obviously if we can do something, we should and we should do something. ”
Highly committed to social issues, Lewis Hamilton also thought of the few followers, lost in the orange army, who supported Mercedes.
“Yes, I arrived yesterday morning in a very positive mood and then I heard some of the things that had been said and I was a little surprised and very sad. You have to know that people come on weekends to have fun, to party, to enjoy free time and to live a great experience. And you know, if you go to the UK, we obviously have a lot of fans there. Here, of course, in the Red Bull Ring, there’s a lot of orange army, and so when we go around the parade, you have to look good to see the neon hats. [Mercedes], stand out a little better, but here there are not as many as the oranges. But when you see someone sitting in the crowd, supporting another person and getting calls, it’s … It’s crazy to think we’re still going through these things in 2022. “
What should F1 do in the face of these acts of harassment according to the Mercedes driver? It puts sport under pressure. By harshly criticizing the actions taken so far.
“I haven’t thought much about finding solutions to what sport should do. This brings us back to some of the messages we talked about about what we should do within sport, which is to bet more on diversity and inclusion. “Because it reflects where we’re headed and often also reflects what our fan base is like.”
“It’s time to act. We Race as One was all right, but they were just words. There was no funding for anything, there was no program to create change and feed that conversation.”
“So we’re definitely going to use our platforms, but we really need to step up and start taking action on some of the things we’re saying. Just saying a few words … it’s not enough. That’s unacceptable. that’s enough. ‘
And Charles Leclerc? What does he propose and will he be as outspoken as Lewis Hamilton against sport?
“Yes, well, first of all, I think that as a community, people who witness any kind of harassment should take a step and do something. And of course, as in Formula 1, if we manage to find these people, we have to take strict measures, they should not be allowed close to our sport, I think. »
“As Lewis said, obviously as pilots we have global fans, we have to talk about that. And so people obviously listen to us a little bit more and do that kind of thing.”
Verstappen raises the issue of alcohol in the stands
Max Verstappen, who deemed the boos of the orange crowd in the Red Bull Ring against Lewis Hamilton unjustified, also called for calm and action. As well as sobriety!
“Something can be improved, maybe with safety around the enclosure, you know, to keep people more in control, to monitor it. And don’t forget either, that’s no excuse, but of course they watch the races “Then they go back to partying and having fun and drinking alcohol. And sometimes when you drink alcohol, you can do stupid things. I don’t say that as an excuse, but those things can be regulated, too.”