Horrific reports of sexist, racial and homophobic abuse suffered by fans at the Austrian Grand Prix have been making the rounds since Friday.
Formula 1 has since issued a statement condemning such behaviour, and now Mercedes confirms they welcomed into their garage a female fan of Lewis Hamilton who was sexually harassed by fans of Max Verstappen.
“We were written to by a female fan, a Lewis fan, who travelled here from the Czech Republic,” said a Mercedes spokesperson.
“She had her dress lifted up by a group of drunk fans, saying ‘You are a Hamilton fan. You deserve no respect’.
“We found out about that just before the start of the race and managed to get her into the garage for the last 20 laps,” the spokesperson concluded.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff also addressed this horrific abuse.
“That needs to stop,” the Austrian said.
“If you are a real Formula 1 fan, whatever team, whatever driver, you cannot be a racist, you cannot be homophobic [or misogynistic] because then you don’t fit in Formula 1. We don’t want you.
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“On the other side, we need to be careful that because there are a few drunk dumbarses about there that haven’t comprehended how the world goes today, you can’t condemn the 99.9 per cent of fans that come here.
“There is always going to be these idiots around. I hope we provided a good show for the rest but these ones can screw off.”
Lewis was also abused by fans on Friday, when they cheered his crash into the barrier during Qualifying. However, during and after the race itself it appears there was no booing, as the fans have been repeatedly warned against such behaviour.
“We didn’t hear any booing, on a positive note, so you see how many Max fans are out there, loyal Max fans,” Wolff continued.
“They got the message and they behaved or recognised how to behave [in a] sportsmanlike [manner].
“You don’t need to jeer, they remained silent and I thought that was good to see.
“Overall, 99.9 per cent of fans are great, whether you are for Max, Lewis or Charles but 0.1 per cent put a shadow over them.
“Stay at home! We don’t want you here,” Toto concluded.