Commentator Suspended After Calling F1 Driver 'Autistic' Live On Air
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A Formula One commentator has been suspended after allegedly calling Lance Stroll "autistic" during live coverage of the Austrian Grand Prix.
French broadcaster Lionel Froissart, who works for RTBF Sport, left listeners stunned when he casually made the remarks live on air.
Even his co-commentator Gaetan Vigneron couldn't quite believe what he had just heard.
"That's too strong. You're going too far," fellow broadcaster Gaetan Vigneron said.
To which Froissart replied: "Honestly, this is the truth."
When a soundbite of the comment started doing the rounds online, fans were quick to slam Froissart, with some even calling for him to step down.
Well, it seems those cries were heard by his employer.
It wasn't long before RTBF Sport issued a statement of their own.
"RTBF strongly condemns the words used on Sunday, July 10, on air by its consultant Lionel Froissart during the Austrian Grand Prix," the company said.
"Associating autism with a driver’s way of communicating was misplaced and completely inconsistent with RTBF values.
"An internal investigation will be conducted, to hear all the involved persons.
"The goal is to understand in detail what could have led to this incident.
"Pending the results of this investigation, RTBF will no longer work with the consultant in question until further notice."
Canadian star Stroll has been driving for Aston Martin for the last twi seasons.
Prior to that, the 23-year-old was with Racing Point and Williams.
Stroll is the son of billionaire businessman Lawrence Stroll, who is currently a part-owner in Aston Martin's F1 team and has pumped money into his son's previous teams too.
As for the driver himself, he has three podiums to his name over an F1 career which spans over 100 starts.
Most recently, Stroll finished 13th at the Austrian Grand Prix, which was four places ahead of his Aston Martin teammate Sebastian Vettel.