Remember when the chants and abusive comments was a football thing? Something you’d see on the sports section of the News or hear in the stands at a cold match?
Formula 1 was an untouched gem; fans would watch from their homes or from the stands at the Grand Prix and cheer on their favourite without a second thought to who the person next to you supported. You’re cheering for Hakkinen? Awesome, I’m a Schumacher fan but I’m too busy watching the actual race. *Old school pre social media opinion*.
With the rise of social media, voicing your opinion on anything has become a mine field. It has opened the door to everyone voicing their opinion and ramming it down the throats of others, trying to force them to change their belief/opinion.
Prime example is Team LH *minority, not majority, the minority just shout REALLY LOUD*. It’s nearly impossible to trawl Twitter on a race weekend without seeing someone being abused by a Hamilton fan. My favourite is post Nico Abu Dhabi win when I wrote a tweet saying how he deserved the title and was inundated with replies telling me that he didn’t deserve it because Hamilton would have won if it wasn’t for this reason or that reason. By the time I had finished reading some of them, I wasn’t sure who needed a lobotomy more; me or them. Tin hat theorists.
The Mad Max fan club are on the rise and are already giving Team LH a run for their money with ‘die hard’ fans. Like with Hamilton fans, Verstappen fans don’t back down when they find out you support anyone else (even if it’s his own team mate). If F1’s ‘Driver of the Day’ voting is anything to go by, the problem is only in its infancy and is just going to get worse as the fan club expands.
I’m all for supporting your favourite team, I’m from the North East so team rivalry is constant, but when it gets to the point when abuse and threats are being thrown around just because you have a different opinion, it’s gone too far. It’s not riots and punching horses Tyne/Wear Derby rivalry style at least. Violence isn’t a part of the F1 fanbase yet but it’s a slippery slope when the fans are so ‘dedicated’ to their driver/team.
So, stop threatening other fans! The world would be so bloody boring if we all supported the same team or driver. Racing would be near pointless. Just be nice, it’s not that hard.