Lando Norris believes that abusive fans should be given temporary bans from attending future Formula 1 events. The Austrian Grand Prix was overshadowed by complaints of inappropriate fan behaviour across the weekend. Accounts of abusive behaviour in the grandstands and the fan zones were shared through social media, which were noted and condemned by Formula 1, organisers and drivers. F1 promised to collaborate with organisers and security staff to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. The reports were met with widespread disapproval from key figures in the F1 paddock, including Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel, who called for lifetime bans for anybody found guilty of abusive behaviour.
"If someone says something bad, kick them out for a while"
Norris stopped short of suggesting a lifetime ban, but still believes that issuing bans would be a good solution. "Of course we don't want it [abusive fan behaviour]. We don't think it's the way, and it's not acceptable, especially within Formula 1 where you want to create a great show and where you want to inspire people," Norris told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I think the first thing that can be done is if you get caught doing it, maybe you get a one-year ban from coming to the races or something like that. "You never want that side of it to be happening, especially when fans are pretty much the main reason the whole sport goes along and happens every weekend. "If someone says something bad, just kick them out for a while."
Norris: There's no threat of punishment for offenders
The reports of fan abuse have triggered questions about the wider fan culture in the sport. Drivers and team members had already commented on fan booing and sarcastic cheering, which was heard at Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring. Whilst Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff had issued a message of "we don't want you" to abusive fans , he cautioned that society should not generalise against specific fanbases. Norris was also quick to avoid grouping the abusive behaviour with the thousands of regular fans, and instead argued that the issue is with individuals who think their actions will go unpunished. "I think a lot of people in the world just don't care, which is a problem. They don't care what they say and there's not enough consequences in life," added Norris. "There just needs to be more consequences and hopefully that teaches people a lesson, but just putting things on a board saying 'don't do this, don't do that', it doesn't stop them from doing it, because it's not the consequence."