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F1 warned it faces unenviable task tackling fan abuse, drivers urged to take action

F1 warned it faces unenviable task tackling fan abuse, drivers urged to take action

F1 warned it faces unenviable task tackling fan abuse, drivers urged to take action

F1 warned it faces unenviable task tackling fan abuse, drivers urged to take action

Naomi Schiff believes F1 has an unenviable task in tackling abusive fans at race circuits and has called on drivers to appeal directly to their supporter groups.

The Austrian Grand Prix weekend was marred by reports of homophobic, racial and sexist abuse directed at fans around the circuit.

F1 released a statement labelling the behaviour as "unacceptable" whilst seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton revealed he was "disgusted and disappointed" by the reports.

Sky Sports F1 analyst Schiff said: "Something F1 has prided itself on is the behaviour of fans over the years. It is sad to be seeing this behaviour.

"From what we can see here is that it is mostly positive but one of the biggest issues is that it is so vast here, so we cannot see everything that is going on out there.

"It is going to be something that is really hard to police. I don't envy the job of F1 and the promoters.

"One thing that would be great is the drivers, they really influence their fans and if they were to come out and say 'This is not the way that I want to be represented', I think that would go a really long way."

Post-race, many drivers, including Max Verstappen, have since condemned the fan abuse.

F1 abuse must be "stamped out"

Fellow pundit Johnny Herbert was scathing in his criticism of the abuse and called on drivers to add their voices to help prevent such behaviour from infiltrating crowds at a race track.

"The messaging is the most important thing because the sport doesn't need it and the world doesn't need it to be honest," he explained.

"That is where it has got to be stamped out and people have got to realise that what they are saying is very hurtful and harmful to certain people.

"That is where the sport does put out a good message and the drivers will be working hard to make everyone aware on what they should and shouldn't do."

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