F1 qualifying red flagged after flare thrown onto Dutch GP track

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April

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F1 bosses were forced to stop qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix after a flare was thrown on the track. An orange flare was chucked on the circuit on the run to turn 13 moments before Alex Albon’s Williams drove past. 

Albon was the only car on the track at the time but it would still affect the Williams star’s run plan. Albon had also complained of pigeons sitting near the racing line on his warm-up lap. 

The FIA confirmed the offender had been thrown out of the circuit moments later. They said: “For info the person responsible for throwing the flare on track has been identified and removed by event security.”

Ted Kravitz also revealed Dutch Grand Prix organisers had addressed the crowd after the incident to warn fans to not throw anything onto the track. 

He explained: “In Austria they weren’t banned, here last year they weren’t banned, although I think they have set fire to some dried grass in the past around here. But they have now decided to ban them.

“So, there is now going up on the big screens a sign to the crowd. ‘It is prohibited to set off fireworks and other incendiary materials, If you do use flares you will be removed from the premises’.”

“But they are not checking people, they can’t check people, what are you going to do a whole body search before you get in. But there are signs as you come in saying if you do have flares they are not allowed, so please put them in some kind of bin before you come into the circuit. 

“Obviously a lot of spectators are not heeding those warnings.” 

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Kravitz added fans who are identified using flares will be chucked out and not refunded. Croft then added flares usually gave off a bad smell and warned it was “not particularly safe” as the grass was very dry.

It comes months after Dutch fans were blamed for causing carnage at the Austrian Grand Prix. Back in July, Dutch GP organiser Jan Lammers described the scenes in Austria as “embarrassing” and pledged F1 the race at Zandvoort would be different.

He commented: “I think the real Orange fan would like to make a statement of showing now how it’s done, so I don’t expect any trouble. I have a feeling that this will be the best time to go because everybody will be on good behaviour of course.”

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