The Formula 1 world has come together to condemn the racist abuse on social media against Lewis Hamilton after the British Grand Prix on July 18. The British driver won the race at Silverstone in a dramatic fashion which saw him send Max Verstappen crashing into the tyre wall at the ninth turn in the opening lap.
Formula One, the FIA and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team released a joint statement on social media, addressing the “unacceptable instances of online abuse”.
“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 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 action,” read the statement.
Other teams rallied around to express their support as well.
Red Bull, whose driver Verstappen crashed out of Sunday’s race, said in a release posted on Twitter, “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. 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.”
McLaren F1 team tweeted, “McLaren stands with Formula 1, the FIA, and our fellow teams and drivers in condemning the deplorable racist abuse towards Lewis Hamilton. Racism must be driven out of our sport, and it’s our shared responsibility to unite and eliminate it.”
2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button, currently a pundit with Sky Sports, was highly critical of the abuse against Hamilton. “Disgusted to hear the Racism and online abuse aimed at Lewis Hamilton after the British GP. #bekind,” read his tweet.
McLaren’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, who came fifth in the British Grand Prix, had his say on the abuse against Hamilton. “I’ve seen some of the remarks aimed at Lewis after yesterday. No matter what happens on track there is absolutely zero place for racism and hate. Please we have to be better than this,” said his Instagram story on Monday.
Hamilton is yet to comment on the abuse. The next F1 race is the Hungarian Grand Prix on August 1.