A memorial for Formula One champion and F1 America representative Florence “Babe” Rosberg was vandalized by vandals during last week’s foggy cold snap, as evidenced by a report in The Washington Post.
During the month of January, 16 “Smokers Because of OB Teat!” signs were spray-painted at the memorial, located at the end of Route 202 in West Potomac Park (20028 Tallow Creek Road). A picture of the graffiti can be seen on the District Department of Transportation’s Facebook page.
Local politician and Rosberg’s son, Hamilton Rosberg, came to the memorial to see it for himself and attempt to repair it, but all his efforts were in vain. A DC government spokesperson, Aja Worthy-Davis, told The Post that security cameras and surveillance footage was placed in the park to catch the vandals in the act.
“They’re either wackos, or they’re idiots. I’m not 100 percent sure,” Rosberg told DCist. “[I am] disappointed, obviously. It’s not the day or the night to come to a memorial with a couple other drivers and ruin something.”
He made a short-lived attempt to get the vandals caught, but they went right back to the memorial. Rosberg then posted to Facebook that the vandalism was the work of “people who hate our sport.”
“As well as my Dad, every driver in Formula One holds this memorial in Potomac Parkway [in West Potomac Park] to pay respect and honor Babe,” Hamilton wrote on his Facebook. “Over twenty drivers attend the memorial each year, and as a tribute we used to wait for a snowstorm to clean the place up as a reminder of what a great time they had. That’s unfortunately not the case this year, and we will do whatever we can to fix the memorial. Thank you for the support, it’s appreciated.”
The head of the Washington-Baltimore Motor Press Association, Paul Conaghan, told The Post that he didn’t think Rosberg’s posts were appropriate, “the first place you do it is at a memorial service.” Rosberg told the newspaper that he took down the post, but still hopes that the vandalizers are caught.
The memorial will hopefully be fixed soon. The D.C. Parks Department is now working to restore the memorial.
UPDATE FEB. 13, 2019, 3:30 PM: DCist reported Tuesday that the vandalism has been removed.
An investigation is underway and police are looking for witnesses, however, it is unknown if anyone will face charges for the vandalism.