Key Formula One figures have spoken out against the abuse certain fans experienced during the Austrian Grand Prix.
There were reports of fans being harassed by other supporters at the track throughout the race weekend. The various abhorrent incidents included homophobic and racial slurs, catcalling and other abusive comments.
One female Lewis Hamilton fan is alleged to have had her dress lifted up by drunk spectators who told her she didn’t deserve respect because she supported the British seven-time champion. And after inviting her to the Mercedes garage having learned of the incident, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff slammed the abusers.
READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton slams 'mind-blowing' F1 fans who cheered his crash at the Austrian GP
Wolff told RaceFans: “We found out that this has happened and that’s just not on. That needs to stop.
“If you are a Formula 1 fan, whatever team, whatever driver, you can’t be a racist, [sexist] and you can’t be homophobic because then you don’t fit Formula 1 and we don’t want you.”
Wolff also added: “If you abuse, in whatever way, sexist, racist, homophobic, you're just simply brainless, and no alcohol can excuse that.
“And whoever reads my sentence, stay away. We don’t want you. If you’re part of that group, f*** off.”
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Wolff went on to say that the majority of fans should not be tainted by the actions of a minority, saying: “On the other side, we need to be careful. Just because there’s a few drunk, dumb-a**** out there that haven’t comprehended how the world goes today, we shouldn’t condemn the 99.9% of the fans that come here.
“There is always going to be these idiots around. I hope we provided a good show for the rest and these ones can stay at home.”
Sebastian Vettel, who finished 17th at the Red Bull Ring after an incident with Pierre Gasly, called for strong bans for fans found guilty of abuse at F1 circuits after the race.
He said: “Horrible isn’t it? I think it is good that this stuff comes out, that’s the start, but it is horrible. Whoever these people are, they should be ashamed of themselves and they should be banned from racing events for their lives.
“I think there should be zero tolerance. If people have a good time and drink too much that’s OK, but it doesn’t justify or excuse wrong behaviour. We race as one, so the fans are a part of that.”
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