Mercedes, Formula One and its governing body the FIA have issued a joint statement condemning the online racist abuse aimed at Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton, 36, was targeted following his crash with rival Max Verstappen, of Red Bull, on the opening lap of Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
5 key points
- Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix after a controversial race which saw him crash into championship rival Max Verstappen on the opening lap
- Verstappen was taken to hospital after the 190mph while Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty
- Hamilton overtook Ferrari’s Charles le Clerc with three laps remaining to claim his eighth British Grand Prix win and close the gap on Verstappen from 33 points to just eight in the race for the Formula 1 drivers’ championship. Verstappen had earlier won Saturday’s sprint race
- Verstappen tweeted after the race that Hamilton was ‘disrespectful’ to celebrate the win while he was still in hospital
- Red Bull chief Christian Horner stoked the flames with an explosive TV interview after the race is which he called Hamilton’s move ‘unacceptable’
What has been said
The joint statement read: “During, and after, yesterday’s British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was subjected to multiple instances of racist abuse on social media following an in-race collision.
“Formula One, The FIA and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms.
“These people have no place in our sport and we urge that those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.
“Formula One, the FIA, the drivers and the teams are working to build a more diverse and inclusive sport, and such unacceptable instances of online abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.”
Hamilton and Verstappen have gone wheel to wheel throughout this year’s F1 championship. The 23-year-old Verstappen is looking to win his first championship title, while elder statesmen Hamilton is eying a record eighth win.
Verstappen's aggressive style has caused many comments in the paddock, while Hamilton has backed away from a couple of incidents to avoid crashes already this season. However, Hamilton insisted he was right in going for the gap on Sunday at Silverstone.
He added: “Today is a reminder of the dangers in this sport. I send my best wishes to Max who is an incredible competitor. I’m glad to hear he is OK.
“I will always race hard but always fairly. My team showed grit and perseverance out there. It’s a dream to win in front of my home crowd.”
Last week, Hamilton issued a social media post after Marcus Rashford, Jordan Sancho and Bukayo Saka were racially abused following England’s Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy at Wembley.
He wrote: “The racial abuse on social media towards our players after yesterday’s game is unacceptable. This sort of ignorance has to be stopped.
“Tolerance and respect for players of colour should not be conditional. Our humanity should not be conditional.”