Formula One has condemned the racist abuse Lewis Hamilton has been subjected to following his win at British Grand Prix. F1, alongside the sport’s administration, the FIA, and Hamilton’s Mercedes team issued a joint statement in reaction to the abuse which came after Hamilton was involved during a crash that put Red Bull’s Max Verstappen out of the race. Red Bull has also issued an unequivocal condemnation of the abuse calling for those responsible to be held accountable. Hamilton was racing wheel to wheel with Verstappen on the opening lap of the race at Silverstone when he attempted to pass the Dutchman up the within of the fast Copse corner. The pair clipped wheels and Verstappen was spun off into the barriers at 180mph with a 51-G impact. He appeared unharmed and was later released from the hospital after a check-up.
Hamilton went on to win despite receiving a 10-second time penalty having been adjudged to possess caused a collision by the stewards. On Sunday he was then subjected to racial abuse across social media. On Monday morning F1 issued its statement. “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 One, The FIA and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team condemn this behaviour within the strongest possible terms. These people haven’t any place in our sport and that we urge that those responsible should be held in charge of their actions.
“Formula One, the FIA, the drivers and therefore the teams are working to create a more diverse and inclusive sport, and such unacceptable instances of online abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.” Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, had been highly critical of Hamilton on Sunday and Verstappen had described Hamilton’s move as “desperate” and his behaviour as “disrespectful and unsportsmanlike”. However, the team was swift in calling out racism as unacceptable. “While we could also be fierce rivals on-track, we are all united against racism,” Red Bull said during a statement. “We condemn racist abuse of any kind towards our team, our competitors and our fans. there’s never any excuse for it, there’s certainly no place for it in our sport and people responsible should be held accountable.”
Last week, England footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were subjected to sustained racist abuse online after missing penalties within the final of Euro 2020 and now the Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, has insisted sportspeople shouldn’t need to tolerate such behaviour. “We have seen it within the football within the European Championship and therefore the abuse that’s absolutely not acceptable, and therefore the same yesterday. I still question whether some just don’t catch on,” he said. “This isn’t acceptable and that we will react thereto .”