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Formula 1 French GP

F1 set to clamp down on fans removing signage in track invasions

Formula 1 is set to clamp down and take action against fans who remove signage during the post-race track invasion following a recent spate of incidents.

Fans on the track

Fans are typically allowed access to parts of the track after the race, allowing them to get close to the podium and be part of the celebrations.

At a number of recent races, videos have emerged showing fans removing track signage from circuits and taking them home, including advertising hoardings, DRS boards and even marketing flags from fan areas.

The trend has gained particular traction on social media, where there have been a number of videos showing fans taking the signage away after a race as souvenirs.

But ahead of this weekend's French Grand Prix, it has emerged that F1 is set to take a more hardline approach against fans who are removing signage from the race tracks.

Motorsport.com understands that camera footage of the post-race track invasions after the race is set to be monitored to identify any perpetrators, and that anyone who is caught taking signage is set to be referred to the local authorities and face prosecution.

Fan behaviour has come into the spotlight in recent weeks after a spate of reports regarding sexual harassment and abuse, particularly towards female fans, over the Austrian Grand Prix.

Dutch fans in the grandstands

Dutch fans in the grandstands

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

F1 issued a statement after the Austria race confirming it would talk to the promoter and stamp out the "unacceptable" behaviour, while four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel called for life bans to be handed down to the perpetrators.

Vettel said on Thursday ahead of the French Grand Prix that he was not concerned the issue would escalate, and that he thought the abuse had "probably always been there" but that fans were now more readily speaking up about their experiences.

"Maybe you are starting to see a generation that comes to the track that stands up and complains about it and makes a noise and uses different platforms to communicate," Vettel said.

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"It's great to see that people are having the courage to speak up, and we are learning about these things going on, because only by doing so can we take action.

"The truth is unfortunately it has been going on for a long time. It's about more than about time that these things are changing, because there is no space for such things."

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