Max Verstappen urges F1 chiefs to crack down on drinking in crowds following allegations of abuse at Austrian Grand Prix… as Red Bull star claims binge drinking is growing fans to “go crazy and do stupid things”
- Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix was marred by allegations of crowd abuse
- Fans claimed to have suffered racist, homophobic and misogynistic abuse
- Formula 1 officials have since launched an investigation into the accusations
- Max Verstappen thinks alcohol regulation will have an impact
- Defending F1 champion says spectators need to be better controlled at races
Max Verstappen has called for alcohol consumption at Formula 1 races to be regulated following allegations of abuse that cast a shadow over Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.
A number of reports, including sexual harassment and homophobic and racist abuse, have been posted on social media by people attending the race at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring.
Some 60,000 spectators came from Holland to support world champion Verstappen. One of the reported incidents included a participant saying that five Dutch supporters lifted her dress and said: ‘no [Lewis] The Hamilton fan deserves respect’.
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.
“These things can be regulated. There’s a certain amount of alcohol a person should have until it’s time to go to bed and wake up sober the next morning because if you start going crazy you can do some stupid things.
Max Verstappen has called for alcohol consumption in Formula 1 races to be regulated
Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix was marred by several allegations of spectator abuse
Formula 1 bosses have launched an investigation into the abuse reports, describing them as “completely unacceptable”.
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 more committed to diversity and inclusion at the within our industry.”
“It reflects the direction we are going and it reflects what our fanbase 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.
Lewis Hamilton also hit fans who cheered when he crashed in qualifying on Friday
Verstappen, who had 60,000 supporters in Austria, says alcohol consumption should be monitored
“There was no funding for anything. There was no program to actually create change and spark that conversation.
“We really need to step up and start implementing some of the things that we say. It is not enough to say it.
Verstappen’s call for F1 bosses to regulate drinking comes after tennis star Nick Kyrgios urged a referee to remove a spectator who he said ‘appears to have had 700 drinks’ during the final of Wimbledon on Sunday.
During his loss to Novak Djokovic, Kyrgios went wild and blamed the fan for interrupting him in the middle of a crucial service game.
“She distracts me when I’m serving in a Wimbledon final,” the Australian fumed at referee Renauld Lichtenstein.
His comments come after Nick Kyrgios complained about a drunken fan during the Wimbledon final
“There is no other more important occasion, you did not believe me and then it started again.” It almost cost me the game.
‘Why is she still here? She’s drunk and talking to me in the middle of a game. What is acceptable?’
When Lichtenstein said “nothing is acceptable”, Kyrgios replied, “OK, kick her out”. I know exactly which one it is – the one that looks like it’s had 700 drinks, mate.
The woman temporarily removed from central court, Polish medical lawyer Ania Palus, has since claimed she only had two drinks and was trying to voice her support for Kyrgios in the final.