Lewis Hamilton targeted by racist abuse after Max Verstappen crash at British Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton has been subjected to racist abuse on social media after winning the British Grand Prix in controversial circumstances. The incident follows a growing line of disgusting responses to sporting events in recent weeks, including the targeting of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho after missing penalties for England in the Euro 2020 final.
The seven-time world champion received comments showing gorilla and monkey emojis on a recent Instagram post in the wake of his victory.
Hamilton has been especially vocal in raising awareness against systemic racism over the past year.
The FIA and Mercedes released a joint statement condemning the abuse.
“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,” it read.
“Formula 1, The FIA and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms.
JUST IN: Lewis Hamilton aims angry outburst at Max Verstappen after British Grand Prix crash
“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.”
After a scintillating opening sequence in which Hamilton and Verstappen went toe-to-toe, the pair collided on the first lap going into Copse corner.
The contact sent Verstappen careering into the tyre wall at high speed, ending his Grand Prix and putting him in hospital, although he walked away from the scene.
The Dutchman later stated that he had escaped serious injury, but his 33-point lead at the start of the weekend was reduced to just eight.
Race stewards judged that the crash was predominantly Hamilton’s fault, handing the Brit a 10-second time penalty which he served in the pits.
After dropping down to fifth place, he picked up the pace to stage a remarkable comeback.
In dramatic fashion, Hamilton passed race leader Charles Leclerc with the same manoeuvre at Copse which ended Verstappen’s afternoon.
The crowd roared at the gutsy move in the closing laps of the race which saw him power to a record eighth British Grand Prix victory.
With his world title hopes dented, Verstappen took to Twitter soon after the race to claim that Hamilton had ended his race with a ‘dangerous move’.
He also claimed that his rival’s post-race celebrations were ‘disrespectful and unsportsmanlike’ as he sat in hospital.
The rest of the Red Bull team stood with their driver, with boss Christian Horner particularly animated both during and after the race.
After seeing their lead in the Constructors’ Championship fall significantly, Horner claimed that Hamilton had earned a ‘hollow victory’ at Silverstone and should have been penalised further.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko claimed that he should be suspended for one race because of the incident.
The social media reaction was split as to whether it could be seen as a natural racing incident or whether Hamilton pushed his luck in going for such a risky move on the opening lap.
Debate is of course welcomed, but the abuse directed towards the Mercedes man will bring yet more negative attention to the fan-led racism which has occurred in recent weeks.
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