August 13, 2022

Verstappen calls on F1 to regulate alcohol consumption at races after rowdy fans lift woman’s dress

Fans attending the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix

Guenther Iby/Getty Images

Max Verstappen has called for the consumption of alcohol at Formula 1 races to be regulated following allegations of abuse that cast a shadow over Sunday’s events. Austrian Grand Prix.

Several reports, including sexual harassment and homophobic and racist abuse, were posted on social media by people watching the race at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

Some 60,000 spectators came from Holland to support world champion Verstappen. A reported incident included a participant saying that five Dutch supporters lifted her dress and said: “No (Lewis) Hamilton fan deserves respect”.

Large crowd expected

A large contingent of Verstappen’s Orange Army is expected at the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest later this month, while organizers of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort on September 4 are anticipating a crowd of over 100,000 people.

“One thing that can be improved is the security around the venue to better control people,” said world champion Verstappen, who leads Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the standings by 38 points.

“And, of course, that’s no excuse, but they watch the race, come home, party, have fun and drink alcohol. Those things can be regulated. There’s a certain amount of alcohol that a person should have until they’re it’s time to go to bed and wake up sober the next morning because if you start going crazy you can do something stupid.”

F1 bosses have investigated the reports of abuse, describing them as “completely unacceptable”.

READ: Austrian GP talking points: Leclerc’s demanding win and more points for Schumacher

And seven-time world champion Hamilton, who said it was “breathtaking” that fans cheered his crash in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring on Friday, insists F1 must do more to tackle the problem.

The British driver, 37, said: “It goes back to some of the messaging that we’ve talked about in terms of what we need to do here in the sport, which is to commit more to diversity and inclusion within our industry.

“It reflects the direction we are going, and it reflects what our fan base will look like. It’s time to act. [F1’s] The “We Race as One” campaign was great, but those were just words. It actually did nothing.

“There was no funding for anything. There was no program to actually create change and spark this conversation. We really need to step up and start implementing some of the things that we’re saying. Saying that It’s not enough.”

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