Formula One (F1)
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Seven-times Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton of Britain is concerned about abuse in sport. Photo: AP

Formula 1 tackles abusive behaviour in sport with worldwide campaign – ‘Drive It Out’

  • The initiative is fronted by drivers calling for all racist, sexist and homophobic abuse to be eliminated not only from F1, but all sport in every country
  • The launch follows outbursts of offensive, unacceptable behaviour at the Austrian Grand Prix earlier this month

Formula One on Saturday launched the ‘Drive It Out’ campaign against abusive behaviour online on social media and at Grands Prix. It is fronted by drivers calling for all racist, sexist and homophobic abuse to be eliminated not only from Formula One, but all sport worldwide.

The initiative follows outbursts of abusive behaviour at the Austrian Grand Prix earlier this month. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton raised the issue concerning the abuse at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring.

“Disgusted and disappointed to hear that some fans are facing racist, homophobic and generally abusive behaviour at the circuit this weekend,” he wrote at the time on his Instagram page.

Son Heung-min opens up on racial abuse as a teen in Germany

On Saturday, the campaign was launched with a video including linked messages from all of the current drivers, F1’s president and chief executive officer Stefano Domenicali and the ruling International Motoring Federation (FIA) president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.George Russell of Mercedes, who is also a director of the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA), made clear the position taken by the drivers.

“Abuse of any kind has no place in F1,” he said. “If you see inappropriate behaviour, report it. If you’re being targeted, reach out. We all love this sport, so let’s look after each other.”

In their video message, the drivers said: “Formula One is all about competition and rivalry, but also respect. Respect as competitors, respect for our fans, respect for the whole F1 family.

Asian-American female Olympians struggle with racism and adulation

“Abuse of any kind is unacceptable. If you cannot be respectful, then don’t be part of our sport. We cannot let those who think they can abuse others get away with it. We have a duty to call this out and say ‘no more’.”

The video message went on to say: “We are acting as a community to block those who abuse others online. We won’t allow abuse at our races, but we also need social media platforms to tackle abuse online head-on.

“Those who hide behind social media with abusive and disrespectful views are not our fans. We are united and ask you to join us in driving this out of all sport and society. Drive it out together.”