Formula One condemns Hamilton’s racist abuse
Mercedes, Formula One, and its governing body the Federation International Automobile (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 on the opening lap of Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Hamilton claimed victory by overtaking long-time leader Charles Leclerc late on in front of 140,000 spectators at Silverstone after a 10-second time penalty following the Sunday afternoon incident.
The seven-time world champion delivered a superb comeback drive to record his eighth win on home soil, while Verstappen was taken to hospital.
Verstappen was released from hospital on Sunday night, seven hours after his high-speed crash with Hamilton.
The 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 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.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) July 19, 2021
Racist messages including ‘monkey emojis’ and other racial slurs were sent as replies to a post by the Mercedes team on Instagram celebrating Hamilton’s success.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Facebook – the parent company of Instagram said the racist abuse directed at Hamilton had been removed from Instagram.
“In addition to our work to remove comments and accounts that repeatedly break our rules, there are safety features available, including Comment Filters and Message Controls, which can mean no one has to see this type of abuse,” Facebook as quoted by Sky News Sports.
Hamilton has been a high-profile voice in the fight against racism and called for tangible action to create a more diverse and inclusive society.
This move comes days after three black English players namely Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were also racially abused following England’s defeat to Italy to Wembley in the Euro 2021 final.