Alpha Tauri calls out ‘hateful behaviour’ directed at Red Bull strategist for Yuki Tsunda’s DNF at Dutch GP


Red Bull Racing chief strategist Hannah Schmitz has been the victim of online hate after Yuki Tsunoda’s DNF caused Lewis Hamilton to lose his lead during Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix.

Last update: 05/09/22 6:58 p.m.

Hannah Schmitz was subjected to online abuse after the Dutch GP on Sunday (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Alpha Tauri has issued a statement to decry ‘hateful behaviour’ directed at the team and Red Bull Racing chief strategy officer Hannah Schmitz after Yuki Tsunoda’s DNF cost Lewis Hamilton a chance at the Grand Prices from the Netherlands on Sunday.

Tsunoda, who drives for Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri, reported tire issues and looked set to retire from the race, but was fired by his team before finally stopping after just four corners.

The virtual safety car was then called and gave Max Verstappen an effective free pit stop to hold on to his lead – as he then passed Hamilton after a full safety car, with the Mercedes driver eventually finishing fourth.

The virtual safety car is deployed as AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda is forced to pull over to the side of the track.

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

The virtual safety car is deployed as AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda is forced to pull over to the side of the track.

The virtual safety car is deployed as AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda is forced to pull over to the side of the track.

The incident raised eyebrows around the paddock, with Mercedes team principal Toto Wollf calling for an ‘investigation’ and questions were then raised online whether Red Bull had conspired with Alpha Tauri to help Verstappen to achieve victory.

Following the online reaction to the incident, Alpha Tauri denounced the “hateful behaviour” directed at his team and Red Bull Racing’s chief strategy officer, Hannah Schmitz.

In a statement posted on social media, the team said: “It is incredibly disheartening to read some of the words and comments directed at our team and Red Bull Racing’s Chief Strategy Officer, Hannah Schmitz.

“Such hateful behavior cannot be tolerated, and receiving accusations of foul play is unacceptable, wrong, and completely disrespectful to Hannah and us.

“We have always competed independently, fairly and with the highest level of respect and sportsmanship.

“Yuki had a breakdown that the team didn’t immediately detect, causing her to stop on track.

“To suggest anything different is insulting and categorically incorrect.”

Hamilton previously backed a message from a group of fans to stop “hateful comments” towards Schmitz.

The virtual safety car is deployed as AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda is forced to pull over to the side of the track.

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

The virtual safety car is deployed as AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda is forced to pull over to the side of the track.

The virtual safety car is deployed as AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda is forced to pull over to the side of the track.

A statement from the TeamLH supporters group posted on Twitter, which was later deleted, was retweeted by Hamilton and said: “We understand 100% that everyone’s emotions are running high at the moment.

“No one expected the race to go this way when we were so close to a win.

“But it’s important for us to continue to spread love and empathy towards the hard-working teams in the paddock – whether it’s our team or others – but especially the women.

Max Verstappen overtakes Lewis Hamilton on the restart after the end of the safety car at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Max Verstappen overtakes Lewis Hamilton on the restart after the end of the safety car at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen overtakes Lewis Hamilton on the restart after the end of the safety car at the Dutch Grand Prix.

“The hateful language and comments directed at Red Bull Chief Strategy Officer Hannah Schmitz are intolerable and must not be tolerated.

“This sport is unforgiving and you have to be ready for anything, and that’s what she did today.

“There are a lot of positives in Lewis’ run today, and that’s exactly what we’re focused on. Thank you for your continued support of LH! We win and we lose together.”

However, the statement released by the TeamLH supporters group drew backlash and so the group opted to delete the post and issue a second statement on Monday afternoon. Who read:

“We understand that the statement released ended up doing more harm than good and prompted comments which are exactly what TeamLH opposes – for that we sincerely apologize.

“We would like to make it clear that we do not tolerate any form of abusive commentary, whether towards Lewis, his team or his fans.

“This was not a generalization to TeamLH as a whole, and should not be read as such.

“Our priority has been and always will be to protect TeamLH.”

Sky Sports remains committed to the ‘Hate Won’t Win’ campaign and is committed to making social media platforms a place for comment and debate free from abuse, hate and profanity.




Sky Sports

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button