F1 investigating 'unacceptable' conduct of fans at Austrian Grand Prix

By Sports Desk July 10, 2022

Formula One chiefs are investigating "unacceptable" behaviour from spectators at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The conduct of fans at the Red Bull Ring this weekend has been in the spotlight after Lewis Hamilton was cheered following a crash in qualifying on Friday.

Mercedes driver Hamilton hit out at the "mind-blowing" reaction of supporters, which are mainly made up of Max Verstappen followers at Red Bull's home race.

It comes a week after Verstappen was jeered by a section of the grandstands at the British Grand Prix, where Hamilton is a home favourite.

The race weekend at Spielberg has also seen reports of sexist and homophobic abuse, as well as other forms of harassment.

F1 addressed those allegations in a statement released ahead of the main event on Sunday.

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

"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."

Verstappen will start Sunday's race on pole after winning Saturday's sprint, while Hamilton – still seeking his first victory of the 2022 campaign – is down in eighth.

Related items

  • Red Bull boss Christian Horner wants his future resolved ‘as soon as possible’ Red Bull boss Christian Horner wants his future resolved ‘as soon as possible’

    Christian Horner wants his Red Bull future to be resolved “as soon as possible” as the embattled team principal fights to save his Formula One career.

    Red Bull Racing’s parent company Red Bull GmbH announced on February 5 that Horner is being investigated following an accusation of “inappropriate behaviour” by a female colleague. Horner denies the claim.

    Horner addressed the media alongside four other F1 team principals on the second day of this week’s three-day test in Bahrain on Thursday. The new season starts in the Gulf kingdom next Saturday.

    Asked why he has not moved aside as team principal and chief executive of Red Bull Racing with the investigation under way, Horner replied: “As you are well aware there is a process going on which I form part of, and as I form part of that process, I am afraid I cannot comment on it.”

    Horner was then asked if he could provided a timeline as to when the investigation might be over.

    The 50-year-old added: “I am dreadfully sorry but I really can’t comment on the process or the timescale.

    “Everybody would like a conclusion as soon as possible. But I am really not at liberty to comment about the process.”

    Sources have indicated to the PA news agency that there could be a resolution before the opening race on March 2.

    On Wednesday, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff called for Red Bull’s probe to be transparent, and said the controversy is “an issue for all of Formula One”.

    McLaren chief executive Zak Brown, speaking in the same press conference as Horner on Thursday, echoed Wolff’s comments.

    “The allegations are extremely serious,” said Brown. “McLaren hold themselves to the highest standards of diversity, equality and inclusion.

    “These are extremely important to us and our partners, and to everyone in Formula One.

    “Red Bull Corporation has launched an investigation, and all we hope and assume is that it will be handled in a very transparent way, and as the FIA and Formula One has said, swiftly, because these are not the headlines that Formula One wants or needs at this time.”

    Red Bull won all but one of the 22 races last year as Max Verstappen stormed to the world championship.

    The Dutch driver, in his heavily upgraded machine, set an impressive pace on the opening day in Bahrain, finishing 1.1 seconds clear of anyone else.

    Mercedes’ George Russell said: “Red Bull are definitely the favourites and definitely a step ahead of everyone here in Bahrain. They have had an impressive winter, no doubt.

    “Hopefully Red Bull are already in that sweet spot, and we can close the gap, but it is going to take a lot of hard work to do so.”

  • Second morning of F1 testing in Bahrain cut short due to loose drain cover Second morning of F1 testing in Bahrain cut short due to loose drain cover

    Formula One’s second morning of testing was cancelled after a loose drain cover struck Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

    Both Hamilton and Leclerc hit the debris at Turn 11 in Bahrain, and the running was red-flagged with one hour and 40 minutes remaining.

    Circuit officials attempted to repair the track, but after a delay of nearly 40 minutes, it was announced that the running would not resume.

    The one-hour lunch break, was brought forward by an hour. The afternoon session will now run for five hours, instead of four, starting one hour earlier than planned at 2pm local time (11am GMT).

    Ferrari said the impact caused damage to the floor of Leclerc’s Ferrari, which has since been replaced.

    It is unclear at this stage how extensive the damage was to Hamilton’s Mercedes.

    Both Hamilton and Leclerc were unharmed in the incidents.

    Last November, a water valve cover broke free from the newly-laid tarmac of the Las Vegas street circuit and tore into the underbelly of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari at 210mph.

    Speaking at the time, Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur called the incident “unacceptable”.

    Hamilton, competing in his final season for Mercedes ahead of his switch to Ferrari, is scheduled to be behind the wheel of his new machine all day. He was sixth when the red flag was deployed.

    Max Verstappen finished fastest on Wednesday. The test concludes on Friday ahead of next Saturday’s first round of the season, also in the Gulf kingdom.

  • Second morning of testing in Bahrain cancelled due to loose drain cover Second morning of testing in Bahrain cancelled due to loose drain cover

    Formula One’s second morning of testing was cancelled after a loose drain cover struck Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

    Both Hamilton and Leclerc hit the debris at Turn 11 in Bahrain, and the running was red-flagged with one hour and 40 minutes remaining.

    Circuit officials attempted to repair the track, but after a delay of nearly 40 minutes, it was announced that the running would not resume.

    The one-hour lunch break, was brought forward by an hour. The afternoon session will now run for five hours, instead of four, starting one hour earlier than planned at 2pm local time (11am GMT).

    Ferrari said the impact caused damage to the floor of Leclerc’s Ferrari, which has since been replaced.

    It is unclear at this stage how extensive the damage was to Hamilton’s Mercedes.

    Both Hamilton and Leclerc were unharmed in the incidents.

    Last November, a water valve cover broke free from the newly-laid tarmac of the Las Vegas street circuit and tore into the underbelly of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari at 210mph.

    Speaking at the time, Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur called the incident “unacceptable”.

    Hamilton, competing in his final season for Mercedes ahead of his switch to Ferrari, is scheduled to be behind the wheel of his new machine all day. He was sixth when the red flag was deployed.

    Max Verstappen finished fastest on Wednesday. The test concludes on Friday ahead of next Saturday’s first round of the season, also in the Gulf kingdom.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.