Lewis Hamilton targeted with racist abuse online after crash with Max Verstappen in British Grand Prix win

·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton was targeted with racist abuse online after his 190mph crash with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

The duo touched wheels early in the race at Silverstone, causing championship leader Verstappen to veer off the track at high-speed and hit the Armco barriers at 51G.

It led to a rebuke for Hamilton by both Verstappen and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who branded it a hollow victory for the Briton.

Verstappen was taken to hospital as a precaution as Hamilton went on to secure a dramatic victory after being given a 10-second penalty for the crash.


After the Mercedes team celebrated the win with a post on Instagram, racist messages were sent as replies.

Mercedes, Formula One and its governing body the FIA have condemning the online racist abuse aimed at Hamilton, who has been a high-profile voice in the fight against racism.

A joint statement read: "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.

"Formula One, 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 One, 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."

Verstappen's Red Bull team tweeted in response to the abuse: “While we may be fierce rivals on-track, we are all united against racism. We condemn racist abuse of any kind towards our team, our competitors and our fans.

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"As a team we are disgusted and saddened to witness the racist abuse Lewis endured yesterday on social media after the collision with Max.

"There is never any excuse for it, there is certainly no place for it in our sport and those responsible should be held accountable."

Responding to the abuse of Hamilton on social media, culture secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted: “It’s clear that this issue isn’t fixed as some companies have claimed. Once again we saw racist comments and emojis aimed at our sports stars this weekend.

“I’ve been asked if the new Online Safety laws will make social media firms deal with abuse like this and I can confirm that it will.

“Today, the legislative process for the Draft Online Safety Bill has begun — a key moment as the Joint Committee of MPs and Members of the House of Lords is being set up to examine the Bill.

“However, social media companies can and must act now. We’re all sick to death of seeing the bile and the threats. It’s time for platforms to turn the tide on racist abuse.”

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