Formula One and the Mercedes team are denouncing a spate of racially abusive messages on social media directed at seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton.
- Lewis Hamilton has been the victim of racial abuse online after being involved in a crash during Sunday’s British Grand Prix
- The Mercedes driver hit his championship rival Max Verstappen which sent him off the track and out of the race
- While Hamilton went on to win the race, Verstappen was taken to hospital for precautionary reasons
Hamilton, who won Sunday’s British Grand Prix, was subjected to the abuse in the aftermath of the race.
The Mercedes driver was involved in a lap one crash with championship leader Max Verstappen, who was hospitalised for precautionary reasons after the shunt.
In a joint statement, Formula One, Mercedes and the governing FIA have called for those responsible for the abuse to be “held accountable for their actions”.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.”
The crash allowed Hamilton to close the gap in the drivers’ championship, but was heavily criticised by Verstappen’s Red Bull team.
Team principal Christian Horner called Hamilton’s victory “hollow”, while Verstappen said the Mercedes driver’s celebrations after the win were disrespectful as he was still in hospital.
In the wake of the George Floyd murder in the United States, Hamilton led Formula One’s campaign to actively call out racial abuse and inequality.
Before each race since the start of the 2020 season, the drivers have gathered in solidarity against inequality.
Many of the drivers, including Hamilton and Australian Daniel Ricciardo, take a knee during these demonstrations.
“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,” the statement continued.