Verstappen criticises ‘stupid’ fans for throwing flares onto F1 track

Max Verstappen has hit out at F1 fans who disrupted qualifying at the Dutch Grand Prix by throwing flares onto the track, calling their actions “stupid”.
Verstappen criticises ‘stupid’ fans for throwing flares onto F1 track

The start of Q2 was delayed when a red flag was flown after a fan threw an orange flare onto the track, while a similar incident occurred at the start of Q3, however, this rolled into the pitlane and was covered by yellow flags down at Turn 1. 

A statement issued by F1’s governing body the FIA confirmed that a fan had been “identified and removed” by event security. 

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Fans are banned from bringing flares to the Dutch Grand Prix and have been instructed to hand any in at the gates on arrival at Zandvoort. 

After claiming pole position for his home race, Verstappen urged the crowd to resist throwing flares onto the circuit for the rest of the weekend. 

“It’s just very silly to do,” the Red Bull driver said. “To hold flares already, it’s nice, of course there’s a limit to how much. But to throw it on the track is just stupid. 

“I think the person who did that got removed. Just don’t do that - it’s not good for anyone, you get thrown out, you can’t see the race, and for us the session is stopped because it is dangerous, there’s stuff on the track, so you shouldn’t do it.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 14, Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort, Netherlands,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who missed out on pole by just 0.021s, praised the swift response by security at the event. 

“It’s dangerous, so don’t do these type of things,” said Leclerc. “It’s good there was a reaction by the security guys and this shouldn’t happen. 

“I don’t know if in the future we can do anything to avoid that. I don’t know exactly when it was thrown, but if a car is passing at that time it can create unnecessary risk, so hopefully it won’t happen again.” 

Carlos Sainz, who qualified third, added: “I think it’s important to let the fans known when it is possible to use the flares and when it is not. 

“I think it was good that they used them on the in-lap when Max took pole but not in the middle of the race or Lap 1 when we are in the middle of fights. 

“At 300kph, you don’t want this kind of distraction from smoke. Hopefully the organisation can do a good job in warning when it’s time is good to use them and when it’s not. 

“Even more important, not to throw them onto the track.” 

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