After reports of harassment at both the Austrian and Dutch Grands Prix, it should come as little surprise that the trend has continued into this past weekend’s Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Fans who attended the event are reporting instances of harassment as well as organizational chaos that made the entire race something of a misery.
Let’s start with a video from Harry Eade, who does social media for Aston Martin. Eade shared a clip of two men walking through a grandstand demanding anyone in a Max Verstappen hat remove their headgear:
Another video from a fan at the race shows a grandstand singing a song about Verstappen’s mother being a whore:
Among the harassment from fans came rampant event disorganization that left one fan with limited mobility waiting for assistance that never came:
Another fan shared a thread of her experience, which included long lines and a description of an “exchange” system put in place at the track. Instead of paying directly for food or drinks, fans had to purchase tokens that could then be exchanged for those items:
If you did manage to secure something to eat or drink, though, there was little hope you’d get to enjoy it. Track security allegedly took water bottles from fans at the gate, then refused anything but a single small water bottle in the grandstands.
The track did share an emergency number that fans could contact if they were experiencing any harassment or health concerns at the event. Some fans reported they were unable to make the phone number work. Others reported that cell service at the track was so poor they were unable to make contact with anyone.
Further, the track suddenly closed down one general admission area halfway through the weekend without mentioning anything to fans:
While the sudden outpouring of news regarding rude fans after each race weekend may seem surprising — why has this suddenly become an issue? — I do want to note that this has been a regular occurrence for decades. The advent of social media and a growing public sentiment that such behavior is unacceptable and not simply part of a race weekend has resulted in these reports gaining traction.