‘For the first time I didn’t stand alone’ – Lewis Hamilton on F1 racism reaction

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Lewis Hamilton was racially abused after the British Grand Prix (Bradley Collyer/PA) (PA Wire)
Lewis Hamilton was racially abused after the British Grand Prix (Bradley Collyer/PA) (PA Wire)

Lewis Hamilton said “for the first time in this sport I didn’t stand alone” after praising Formula One’s united grid for condemning the online racist abuse he suffered following the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton was targeted after his opening-lap crash with Max Verstappen at Silverstone earlier this month.

F1, its governing body, the FIA and Hamilton’s Mercedes team moved quickly to issue a joint statement denouncing the abuse.

I felt for the first time that I didn’t stand alone in the sport.

Lewis Hamilton

Verstappen’s Red Bull team also criticised the attacks, while high-profile figures within the sport – including Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and British drivers’ Lando Norris and George Russell – also posted messages in support of Hamilton.

Hamilton, F1’s sole black driver, was targeted by racists during a pre-season test in Barcelona 13 years ago, but said the sport took no action.

However, speaking ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian GP – the concluding round before the summer break – the 36-year-old said: “It was amazing to see the support from my team, and from some of the drivers.

“I felt for the first time that I didn’t stand alone in the sport.

“For all the other years I’ve been racing, no one would have ever said anything. When it happened before no one said anything. So it was really amazing to see the steps that have been taken.

“There’s no room for that sort of abuse but if I have to be on the receiving end of that in this industry for people to become aware, then that’s part of my journey.”

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