Formula 1 star Sergio Pérez urges life bans for 'embarrassing' sexist spectators

Sergio Perez

Formula 1 star Sergio Pérez has called for racist, sexist and homophobic spectators to be given life bans.

During the build-up to the French Grand Prix, Pérez discussed the allegations of discriminatory abuse at the Austrian GP earlier this week.

A number of reports were made throughout the race weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with some spectators making allegations of aggressive misogyny towards female fans, homophobic slurs and the use of the N-word.

According to BBC Sport, one spectator had his time at the race “overshadowed by the sheer amount of racist abuse I received and the sexual harassment my partner was subjected to”.

F1 has now put in place a series of measures for this weekend’s race in France to ensure any abuse is dealt with, but Red Bull driver Pérez urged for a zero-tolerance approach towards spectators.

“They are not welcome here,” Pérez said. “We should ban them for life because they don’t share our values.

“A few fans shouldn’t be able to embarrass our sport like that.”

Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton

Sebastian Vettel, a four-time world champion, also commented on the situation.

“I think there has been a shift in the fan base,” he said. “We can all see the excitement for F1, a younger audience on average coming to the track.

“The abuse has probably always been there but I don’t think at any time it was correct. But maybe you are seeing a generation coming to the track who complains about it and makes a noise and uses different platforms to complain about it.

“It is great to see people having the courage to stand up because by learning about it, we can do something about it.

“It has been going on for some time at all major sporting events. It is more than about time that it is changing because there is no space for those things.”

F1 star Lewis Hamilton

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was the first to condemn the abuse after one female fan claimed her dress was lifted up by five fans of Dutch driver Max Verstappen.

When she confronted them, they allegedly told her “no Hamilton fan deserves any respect at all”.

Hamilton’s team Mercedes contacted the woman in question and invited her to their garage to ensure her safety for the race.

“Someone sitting in a crowd supporting someone and receiving abuse,” Hamilton said. “It’s crazy to think we are still experiencing those things in 2022, we have to do more.”

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