F1 photographer ‘slapped’ by Hungarian GP security official

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An official F1 photographer has been left with a cut lip after allegedly being slapped by a security guard at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The final round before the summer breaking is taking place at the popular Hungaroring track near Budapest. The weekend began with two practice sessions on Friday and, as usual, the track was surrounded by seasoned motorsport photographers. They included respected snapper Mark Thompson, F1 photography for the Getty Images agency which supplies pictures for a host of titles around the world, including Daily Star Sport.

Following the second practice session, Thompson posted two tweets with pictures of him and a burley security guard. The first showed Thompson, who was wearing an official F1 media bib, having an exchange with the guard.

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“The friendly face of F1 trackside security Hungary style! #thugs,” he posted. The second tweet appeared to show Thompson on the receiving end of a slap and read: “The friendly face of Hungarian trackside security pt2 the slap across the face (note cut to lip).”

The tweets left F1 media colleagues and fans shocked. Former world champion Damon Hill replied: “What the hell?” while fellow Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok said: “WTF?! Are you ok mate??”

Fellow photographer Lindsey Parnaby added: “This is shocking to see especially at an international sporting event, whatever the country Thommo. I hope you heal soon..”

Meanwhile, an F1 fan posted: “Can you please ask the FIA or the F1 officials to look into it?” while another added: “That’s horrendous – what a thug.”

Who will win the Hungarian Grand Prix? Have your say in the comments section below.

The images were released amid reports of Max Verstappen fans setting fire to Lewis Hamilton merchandise.

BBC 5 Live F1 reporter Jennie Gow tweeted: “Seen some disturbing images this morning of more fans burning Hamilton merchandise. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. If you’re here in Hungary, how are things in the grandstands? Is everyone ok? The atmosphere seems good but hard to really tell.

She added: “More news to come this morning but #F1 is taking matters seriously and abusive, divisive, destructive, discriminatory behaviour has no place in our sport. Keep across socials today and let’s make F1 safe for all.”

At the recent Austrian Grand Prix, which was overshadowed by reports of sexism, racism and homophobia off the track, a video emerged on social media of a Verstappen fan setting fire to a Mercedes cap.

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Daily Star Sport have approached the FIA and the race organisers for comment. Sky Sports pitlane reporter Ted Kravitz said the race organisers, the FIA and F1 have launched an investigation into the incident involving the photographer.

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