The Formula 1 Women fan club received 15 reports from female visitors about sexually transgressive behavior during the race in Zandvoort. Founder Svenja Tillemans suspects that many more women faced harassment. The fan club wants to talk to the circuit to put an end to misogynistic behavior around the races. The organizers of the Dutch Grand Prix were satisfied with the event, speaking of a good weekend without significant incidents.
Tillemans heard stories of women who were pinched in the buttocks or had beer poured on them. The circuit communicated a special phone number where women could file complaints. “Five reports came in there, but there was almost no coverage on the track. I know that several women went to security guards, who referred them to the police outside. Then you get the ‘never mind effect. And that’s a shame.”
Although she recognizes that it is difficult to deal with this type of behavior in a crowd, she does see possibilities, like limiting alcohol consumption. She also argues for more control on the circuit and for F1 drivers to call on people to keep their hands off each other. Earlier, there were also many reports of misogynistic behavior at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Tillemans thinks women often take the behavior for granted because they still want to attend the race. “With the idea: I know where I’m going; it’s just for a while. I wonder if you really had a nice weekend in the end. I don’t think so.”
The police have not yet received any reports of sexually transgressive behavior during the race, a spokesperson said. However, officers are trying to get in touch with a woman who reported on social media that a drunk man attacked her. “We haven’t contacted her yet.”
The organizers of the Dutch Grand Prix were satisfied with the event, speaking of a good weekend without major incidents. “I can’t really think of anything negative about this weekend,” director Robert van Overdijk of the Zandvoort circuit said. “The smoke bombs that were set off and thrown onto the track during qualifying on Saturday are one of the many evaluation points. We still have so much to gain for next year. I’m not worried that we can then produce at least an equally good, if not a better, edition three.”
The Dutch Grand Prix was the most watched program in the Netherlands on Sunday, with over 2.1 million people watching Max Verstappen win the race on NPO 1, according to Stichting KijkOnderzoek (SKO). The race was also shown on the streaming service Viaplay. These figures aren’t provided to SKO.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times
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