Perez wants life ban for abusive fans

-Ikenna Okafor

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has called for spectators involved in offences of discriminatory abuse to be banned for life from Formula 1 events 

His comments, and similar ones from colleagues, follow fans being subjected to racist, sexist and homophobic abuse at the last race in Austria.

Perez said: “They are not welcome here. 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.”

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who has become a campaigner on environmental, social and cultural issues, said he believed that the problem of abuse had come into focus because a younger generation of fans was now more willing to call it out.

Vettel said: “I think there has been a shift in the fan base. 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.”

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who has been outspoken on issues of diversity for the last three years, reiterated his call for media outlets not to publicise quotes from people with potentially discriminatory views.

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