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AlphaTauri hits out at social media abuse

NEWS STORY
06/09/2022

AlphaTauri has reacted following "hateful" abuse of Yuki Tsunoda and Red Bull strategist, Hannah Schmitz following Sunday's Grand Prix.

The abuse followed Tsunoda's retirement from the race, which brought about the deployment of the VSC.

As previously reported, the Japanese driver had stopped on track shortly after making his second scheduled stop of the race, fearing that a wheel was loose.

As he reported the situation to his team he began undoing his seatbelts in order that he could extract himself from the car.

However, his team told him that its data showed no such issue and that he should head back to the pits, which he did.

On arrival back at the pits the crew changed his tyres and also tightened his seatbelts before sending him out again.

However, moments later it ordered him to stop and park after finally finding an issue in its data.

Obeying the order, Tsunoda pulled to the side of the track and subsequently the VSC was deployed.

The deployment of the VSC allowed Max Verstappen, who was at that point battling Lewis Hamilton for the lead of the race, a 'free' pit stop, a move which the Sky Sports presenters at the time treated with obvious scepticism.

Meanwhile, social media went into meltdown, as 'fans' claimed that Red Bull strategist, Hannah Schmitz had conspired with AlphaTauri in a bid to aid Verstappen.

On Monday evening, as the abuse continued, AlphaTauri issued a statement:

"It is incredibly disheartening to read some of the language and comments directed at our team and towards Red Bull Racing’s head of strategy, Hannah Schmitz," said the team.

"Such hateful behaviour cannot be tolerated, and to entertain accusations of foul play is unacceptable, untrue and completely disrespectful towards both Hannah and us.

"We have always competed independently, fairly and with the highest levels of respect and sportsmanship.

"Yuki had a failure that the team didn’t immediately detect which caused him to stop on track.

"To suggest anything different is insulting and categorically incorrect."

While Tsunoda was subsequently given a reprimand, this related to when he initially drove back to the pits with his seatbelts unfastened.

Over the weekend, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA president, Mohammed ben Sulayem both enthused at the changing demographic of the sport's fan base, especially in terms of younger fans.

While this might be good for the sport, especially in terms of flogging them caps and T-Shirts, particularly the limited edition stuff, it cannot be coincidence that the rise in abuse and conspiracy theories coincides with the arrival of this new fan base.

Hardly a race weekend appears to go by these days when F1 and the teams don't send out a message that something or other will not be tolerated any longer, be it abuse on social media or abuse of other fans at the events.

F1, the FIA, the media and certain team bosses should think long and hard about whether it sometimes sends out the wrong message and is actually encouraging the abuse, which, is must be said, is a recent phenomenon.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Chester, 08/09/2022 10:51

"Hannah is a gift to us. True meaningful female participation. Not many sports can say that."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by elsiebc, 07/09/2022 18:21

"Awww... It's just "passion". Remember, that's a good thing that you don't need to apologize for. Just ask the GOAT."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by ancient70!, 07/09/2022 16:15

"Unfortunately we live in an age where scared, arrogant idiots (may I use that word?) sit behind keyboards and sprout insults and hatred at people secure in the knowledge that the recipient is not going walk through the door and wallop (or worse) them."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Spindoctor, 07/09/2022 15:48

"Disappointment, disgust, feeling "we wuz robb'd" - all of these are possible and often valid feelings when events don't go one's way. The way we respond once the heat of the moment has cooled, is what defines us as people. The principle actors in this saga have not, to my knowledge, accused anyone of anything underhand or unsporting.

The tinfoil hat brigade needs to understand a basic principle: correlation (or coincidence) is not causality..."

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5. Posted by Max Noble, 07/09/2022 11:53

"@Esteemed Editor - Once again Blazers are proven to be the true Sith dark side of this galaxy… Glad you got out alive…"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by Editor, 07/09/2022 10:31

"@ Max Noble

As it happens, this weekend - Friday to be exact - marks 24 years since I last wore a blazer.

It didn't end well."

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7. Posted by Max Noble, 07/09/2022 10:26

"@Esteemed Editor - You in a blazer sorting out the boys in blazers…!? I’d pay to see that. :-) “Drive to Survive” on steroids… :-)

@Kenji - Ah! The human condition… As I’ve noted in other articles/posts. Lawyers do not argue with lawyers… they argue within a framework on behalf of clients who wish to argue. Same with “social” media. The medium itself is not the issue - otherwise the English language would be the most deadly medium in all of history - it is the use to which people put the medium. Ever since said apple was passed one to the other, and all heck broke out in Eden… People have been the problem… Just ask the snakes in the grass… :-)"

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by kenji, 06/09/2022 23:45

"@ S in A...I'll second that. Perhaps it should be labelled an 'ASM' ....an 'anti-social media', seems more apt."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 06/09/2022 12:43

"There is nothing social about ‘ soshul meeeja’"

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

10. Posted by kenji, 06/09/2022 11:43

"Whilst in no way supporting personal abuse and other disgusting malfeasances currently rampant across a lot of social media what I am seeing is a reaction to the incessant political correctness being forced down the throats of the many. What we are witnessing, in many juridictions, is an adverse reaction to being told that that people cannot speak up without being 'cancelled' resulting in no reasoned debate ever being held. The reaction is verbally violent. This a global problem and already we are seeing other forms of rejection to the so called 'progressives' in many different fields. As I said earlier, abuse of a personal nature is abhorrent and is in no way acceptable but it won't go away until this ridiculous descent into PC is halted. It is insidious and has been covertly introduced over the past 20 years or more to the extent that our universities are now the driving force of the leftist social minorities with school curriculums that are laced with political and gender based ideologies instead of the three 'R's'. I find that deeply concerning. Goodness knows where it will all end! Pitpass seems to have the mix just right. A pity that others don't take the same pathway rather than promote extremes by way of headlining and seeking to source responses that excite and promote rage from the uninformed. "

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

11. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 06/09/2022 9:19

"Its very easy to do this when you are not stood in front of the person in question, online abuse is for cowards and unfortunately people with mental issues.."

Rating: Positive (9)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

12. Posted by Editor, 06/09/2022 9:01

"@ Max Noble

Are you hinting at some possible role for moi at F1 or the FIA?"

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

13. Posted by Max Noble, 06/09/2022 8:29

"Honour, and respect at all times. Sure disagree. Respectfully decline. Refute. Deny with supporting facts. Do not become abusive, insulting, or aggressive. We have the occasional poster on this forum (long may God Bless PitPass…) who rather than disagreeing is offensive, but thankfully it is rare, and esteemed editor Balfe soon removes repeat offenders.

This style of on-line hate has no place in a respectful inclusive sport of any kind. Simply look at how respectful boxers are of one another having pushed each other to teh limit in a highly physical confrontation.

Respect for all. Fans are dishonouring the sport, the fine drivers, and team members by this horrid style of abuse. "

Rating: Positive (9)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

14. Posted by rambler, 06/09/2022 8:27

"Liberty Media and Netflix trialling the new F1 format. Standing start to 20 Laps. Then cars change tyres for a rolling start for a 12 lap sprint. All finished in an hour. All sorts of cost savings from this."

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