Wolff tells drunk, abusive F1 fans to ‘f*** off and stay home’

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has told abusive F1 fans to “f*** off” and “stay at home” following reports of harassment at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Toto Wolff (GER)
Toto Wolff (GER)

A large number of fans reported racist, homophobic and sexist abuse they had been subjected to over the course of the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring. 

Senior figures in the sport have condemned the abuse, while F1 said they had raised the matter with the grand prix promoter and security at the event. 

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Mercedes invited a victim of sexual harassment into the team’s garage for the final 20 laps of the race after locating her.  

“If you are a real F1 fan, whatever team, whatever driver, you can’t be a racist, you can’t be homophobic and you can’t be sexist because then you don’t fit to F1 and we don’t want you,” said Wolff. 

“On the other side, we need to be careful just because there are a few drunk dumbarses out there that haven’t comprehended how the world goes today, we shouldn’t condemn the 99.9 percent of fans who 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.

“You need to report to the security if you can and whoever [should] read my sentence: Stay away we don’t want you, f*** off.” 

The fan who Mercedes welcomed into their garage had her dress lifted up by a group of drunk spectators who told her she didn’t deserve respect because she supports Lewis Hamilton. 

“We found out that this had happened and that is just not on,” said Wolff. 

The behaviour of the fans at the Spielberg race had already been under the spotlight after legions of Max Verstappen’s ‘Orange Army’ cheered when Lewis Hamilton crashed out of qualifying on Friday. 

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in the post race FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, Austrian
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in the post race FIA Press Conference…

Hamilton criticised their actions and the seven-time world champion urged F1 to do more to stamp out abuse after finishing third on Sunday. 

“Just to know that someone sitting in a crowd supporting someone else is receiving abuse… It’s crazy to think we are still experiencing these things in 2022,” he said. 

“We have to continue to do more. It just highlights that it’s an issue all over and it comes down to education. 

“So we will have to work together with all of our platforms to spread that positive word to all of those people that are watching, because people should come here, should feels safe and included, and should be able to follow whoever it is you want to follow. 

“It shouldn’t matter your gender, your sexuality, the colour of your skin. It should just be everyone here to have a great time.” 

‘Alcohol at F1 races should be regulated’

Verstappen, who finished second, also condemned the behaviour of the fans, saying: “I read a few things, a few shocking things. 

“And that’s clearly not OK and I shouldn’t even need to say this, I think this should be a general understanding, that these things shouldn’t happen, a normal human being I think should think like that and should behave like that.”

The reigning world champion also suggested that restrictions should be put in place on how much fans can drink while in attendance at races. 

Circuit atmosphere - orange smoke released by fans beofre the start of the race. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11,
Circuit atmosphere - orange smoke released by fans beofre the start of the…

"One thing can be improved with security to keep people in check,” he added. “Also, don’t forget, it’s not an excuse but they watch the races and then they go back and party and have fun and drink alcohol. 

“Sometimes when you drink alcohol you can do stupid things - I don’t say this as an excuse. Also these things can be regulated. 

“A certain amount of alcohol maybe until it’s time to maybe go to bed and wake up again the next morning and be sober. Because if you start to go really crazy you can do stupid things.” 

Meanwhile, race-winner Charles Leclerc called on fans who have been found guilty of abusing others to be banned from F1 events altogether.

“If we manage to find these people we need to take hard actions,” said the Ferrari driver. “They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere close to our sport, I believe. 

“As drivers, we should speak about it so people listen to us a bit more and don’t do these types of things.” 

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