Formula 1 driver, Lewis Hamilton has received racist abuse online after winning the British Grand Prix following a dramatic first-lap crash with Max Verstappen.
Verstappen, 23, was taken to hospital after his Red Bull car was tagged by the Mercedes as it overtook on entry to Silverstone’s Copse corner at 180mph on Sunday.
The Dutch driver, who later described it as a “dangerous move”, was sent out of control and crashed into the wall, leaving Hamilton, 36, with a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision.
In the hours after the race, racial slurs and monkey emojis appeared on the Mercedes team’s celebratory Instagram post.
Today Mercedes, Hamilton’s team, released a joint statement with Formula One and the sport’s governing body, the FIA, condemning the abuse,
‘Formula 1, The FIA and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms’, they said.
‘These people have no place in our sport and we urge that those responsible should be held accountable for their actions. Formula 1, 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 has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd in the US. He takes a knee before all races and has recently commissioned a self-titled report into representation of ethnic minority communities in racing.