Opinion: Why Flares At F1 Races Need To Be BANNED Now – WTF1

Opinion: Why Flares At F1 Races Need To Be BANNED Now

Atmosphere at a sporting event is everything. Having been an F1 fan since I was about three years old, I know that when you’re at a race and the crowd is engaging with everything on track, it can elevate the experience of being there tenfold.

However – and it’s a big however – flares are one of the stupidest things to ever enter an F1 venue.

The worst example of them being used was, of course, at the latest Austrian Grand Prix.

I’ve watched some fan perspective videos of them in the grandstand at Turns 7 and 8, and they could not see ANYTHING on Lap 1. Nothing.

Nicolas Latifi could have had the best start of his life and be leading the race, going around the outside of five cars at Turn 7. But if you were in that grandstand where the flares were going off, you’d have been none the wiser.

I cannot stress how absolutely enraged I would have been as a paying customer (and tickets aren’t cheap these days, as I’m sure you’re aware) to not see anything at the most crucial point of any race… the start.

Not only is there the missing of the action on track, but also being involuntarily engulfed in smoke and inhaling what I can categorically say are fumes that are not good for your body. It’s just stupidly dangerous and something that in my opinion needs to be stamped out immediately.

Do you want to create a good vibe? How about shouting, jumping around, bringing a banner with Max Verstappen’s face on it… not bringing a smoke grenade.

Speaking of danger, it’s not just the fans that are getting a mouth full of smoke, but the visibility for the drivers on track was restricted to some degree too.

The offboard camera we saw on Lap 1 looked crazy, albeit the onboards didn’t look TOO bad. But where does this end? People see that flares are allowed and want to bring their own in for the next time they go to a Grand Prix… all of a sudden, in a year or two, the driver cannot see the car ahead, and it opens up the door to all kinds of catastrophic possibilities.

Can I also stress as well that flares aren’t allowed?

I’ve literally tried to enter an F1 circuit with a bottle of water before, and it’s been taken off me, so I highly doubt security are briefed NO to bottles of water but YES to flares.

This highlights there being quite a big security issue at F1 circuits at the moment. Take a look at the British Grand Prix, where, despite there being plenty of talk around protestors before the race, they were still able to storm the track on Lap 1 fairly easily.

F1, in my humble opinion, is clearly growing too fast for what the business and circuits can handle. A few years ago, before Drive to Survive, it used to be quite the achievement to have a sellout crowd. Nowadays, circuits are trying to cram more and more people in because tickets are selling like hot cakes. With this, there needs to be a ramp-up in security, both for things like flares and also to manage the horrible situation that some fans faced in Austria, where they were being harassed and abused.

There needs to be a step up from Formula 1 to manage all of this; otherwise, it’s going to get out of control.


24 thoughts on “Opinion: Why Flares At F1 Races Need To Be BANNED Now

  • Dr Prometheus says:

    As a dutch guy: Yes, this was way overkill; i do not mind flares, but this way way too much. On the other hand; F1 is indeed growing too fast, and i think that is mostly because of a certain driver. But Americans like it, so they won`t change it. Just like the fake rivalries and having the fans going on each other online and offline.

    • Roman Filatov says:

      yes, that LeClerc fella is really attracting some attention! Finally F1 is on the map! :)))

    • Lord Lambert says:

      Max brought your football hooligans into F1. They will abandon the sport when he leaves. Fake fans for a fake champion

        • Lord Lambert says:

          I’ve been an F1 fan for 15 years, nothing fake about me. The shameful pack of bellends that Max brought into F1 though, are an absolute embarrassment to the sport.

          • I’m sorry but you can be a fan for 150 years for all I care. But you can’t go around defaming Max and saying that he is a “fake champion”. I don’t think that sits right with what we saw last year or this year.

          • Lord Lambert says:

            I absolutely can because it’s accurate. The race director broke the rules. The ending of that race is illegitimate. Mercedes never should have stopped appealing because they were right. Forever Max will have an asterisk next to his first WDC because he did not earn it, he was gifted it by Michael Masi. The FIA already admitted that it was an error.
            Max is a fake champion. He is an illegitimate champion. He is no champion at all.

          • Let me guess, this coming from a salty, Lewis/Merc fan?

            I think everyone who watched the last race can agree with your statement that it was not within the rules and was completely manipulated to come to a Netflix-worthy ending. But that was not Red Bull or Max’s doing. He was given an opportunity and he took it. That’s all any driver can do – take advantage of an opportunity.

            Max was a worthy champion, not because of what happened at the last race but because of how he raced and performed throughout the season. If Lewis had won it in the same manner, I’d have said the same thing about Lewis – both worthy champions. End of story.

            I have no idea why we’re even talking about such a notion. I am letting it drop here.

          • Lord Lambert says:

            Whether or not it was Red Bull/Max’s doing is utterly irrelevant. It truly does not matter. The fact is, it happened, the fact is, it was not right, the fact is, Max did not earn a championship through the defined rules that every one of his competitors were following. Max’s championship is illegitimate through those parameters.

            That he went for it despite the rulebreaking of Michael Masi is not something I have or will ever berate him for. Everyone would do the same. Abu Dhabi was 100% Michael Masi’s screw up. I dislike Max for many reasons but taking advantage of the race director cheating in his favour is not one of them.

            Max would have been a worthy champion had he won the title legitimately, but he didn’t, and as such, he is not.

            Anyway, just so you’re aware, who has liked a comment is publicly visible, and it’s pretty pathetic to like your own comments lmfao

  • I was also at the austrian gp but luckily my stand did not had that many flares.
    When we passte the security they did not even look inside your bag on saturday or sonday. They just asked you if you had any weapons or glas bottles with you. So technically you could have been able to smuggle everything inside. And so did a lot of people with the flares.

    They could reduce all the smoke and flares to a good level if the security would work more efficent. Maybe it would take longer. But it could safe a life one day maybe…

  • Jack McFadden says:

    I agree completely. I will not go again. Too many yahoos. Much too expensive. I hate crowds.

  • Brad Mercer says:

    Title is hugely misleading. You even acknowledge that flares are ALREADY banned:
    “Can I also stress as well that flares aren’t allowed?”

    Why then would your title be:

    Let’s call this what it is. Clickbait. Instead of facilitating more of this bullshittery how about just do something novel for once. Have the title accurately reflect the article. Something more along the lines of…… OPINION: WHY FLARES RUIN F1. WHY RANDOM EXECUTIONS OF THOSE CAUGHT BRINGING THEM INTO RACES IS NEEDED

  • I was at the Austrian Grand Prix for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, sitting at turn 3 on the bank. Dutch fans were standing there like idiots in the crowds of people letting off flares in tin canisters. The smell was foul, and it just seemed a total pointless thing to do. Especially when the orange gas blew over everything but the person holding the can. Security at the gates were pathetic. Too many security personnel standing around doing nothing. Some asked stupid questions while others let people in with massive fridges carried by 2 people without even checking the contents. Anything that big has no place amongst fans at a track. Think worst case scenario, an idiot who wants to harm people. Security needs a massive step upwards else it will be in the news soon for a lot worse than flares annoy the drivers and fans.

      • Lord Lambert says:

        Nothing Max has done deserves a licence ban. But hey, it seems you Max fanboys aren’t too aware of when something is said sarcastically… you actually think I was being serious about banning the Dutch? You fanboys are really pathetic.

  • David Atkinson says:

    Create a unique completely covered air tight stand just for MV fans and provide them with flares to set off at their hearts content.

  • Shokrani Shokran says:

    My previous comment was deleted for whatever reason but as much as I despise the behavior of Drunk abusive fans I am of the opinion that whatever happened in Spielberg might have blown out of proportion. Not saying nothing happened there but be careful with reporting something that might not be entirely true.

    You have to call a banana a banana and if there was racist, abusive and otherwise unacceptable behavior should definitely be punished. But these stories smell a tiny bit like “trial by media.”

    Therefore I would like to invite all of you to read the next link from an Austrian newspaper. It is in German but you can use google translate. TLDR: The Austrian police found the Austrian GP weekend Surprisingly quiet and peacefull. They did not receive any report of Sexual harassment.

    I am not denying or condoning anything but as we are living in a society where on is innocent until proven guilty I am of the opinion that if WTF1 and other news outlets can copy twitter from random “fans” it is certainly newsworthy to quote an Austrian Newspaper!

    Keep up the good work guys. I enjoy your podcast and if you need any more onesies let me know!

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