Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

15.51 19 Jul 2021


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Lewis Hamilton was the target of racist abuse online after his dramatic British Grand Prix victory on Sunday.

The seven-time F1 world driving champion was involved in an incident on the opening lap which saw his car come together with that of opponent Max Verstappen who ended up crashing in his Red Bull Racing car.

Verstappen was released from hospital that evening without any major injuries.

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Hamilton received a ten-second penalty after the collision but it emerged after his latest win that he was subject to racial abuse on social media.

"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," said the joint statement released by the governing bodies and Hamilton's team.

"Formula 1, 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."

Red Bull Racing also condemned the abuse received by Hamilton with a statement from Team Principal Christian Horner who said: "Whilst the rivalry is intense on track for the Championship, highly charged emotions should never cross the line into racist abuse.

"We have a zero-tolerance approach to racist behavior within our team and I personally feel strongly that those responsible for this sort of abuse should be held to account."

There have been calls from influential people in all sports, including football, for social media companies to become proactive in dealing with racist abuse on their platforms and to introduce methods to vet users.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, has insisted that they are trying to eradicate the problem.

 "The racist abuse directed at Hamilton during and after the British Grand Prix is unacceptable and we've removed a number of comments from Instagram," read the statement.

"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.

"No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we're committed to the work to keep our community safe from abuse."


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F1 Formula One Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen Mercedes AMG Petronas Red Bull Racing

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