Formula 1 launches Drive It Out initiative to fight abuse

Formula 1 launches Drive It Out initiative to fight abuse

Formula 1 announced today the launch of an initiative, “Drive It Out”, in line with the sport’s efforts to fight abuse and drive it out of its community.

The initiative that has all twenty F1 drivers, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem involved, was launched through a video today.

Formula 1 said in a press release: “The Formula 1 community, including all twenty drivers, Stefano Domenicali and Mohammed Ben Sulayem, have come together to deliver a strong message to ‘Drive Out’ any form of abuse, online and at events, and call for greater respect.

“The video message released today (links below) recognises that while passion and competition is a very important part of our sport it can go too far, resulting in fans, journalists, presenters, and drivers receiving abuse both verbally and online.

“We are all sending a clear message that this isn’t acceptable and must end and those that continue to spread abuse and offensive comments are not welcome in our sport.

“We ask for your support in spreading this important message and all working together to Drive Out abuse in any form,” the statement concluded.

The initiative comes in the aftermath of reports from fans that have experienced harassment or abuse from fellow race attendees over the weekend of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Drivers cannot control what the fans do

“I think that also needs to be up to the F1 organization, because they are the ones hosting and working together with the promoter to allow people in,” reigning Formula 1 Champion, Max Verstappen told The Associated Press at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I’m not in control of what fans are doing. It’s the same with any sport, you’re not in control of what the fans are going to do. But if you have a lot of security around, (they) might influence what people are doing in the grandstands. This is not only up to the drivers. It’s not only Austria, I think it’s happened all over the place,” he explained.

““You can put a lot of things in place, but at the end of the day it all comes down to education from a younger age: where you grew up, where you went to school,” Verstappen continued. “That’s where it also already starts, because I don’t think these people got motivated by what we’re doing (in F1) to do these kind of things.

“This is something which has started from a younger age, and this is what they think is fine,” he reflected.