Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton has been subject to “multiple instances” of racial abuse on social media following his controversial lap one crash with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix.
FIA, Formula 1 and Mercedes-AMG released a joint media statement this afternoon condemning the attacks which surfaced following Hamilton’s eventual victory at Silverstone.
“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 joint 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.
“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.”
Verstappen, who took the lead from pole position, was under attack from Hamilton through the first half of the lap. Hamilton attempted to pass the Red Bull into Copse corner, a right hander at around 300km/h. Hamilton’s left front tyre hit Verstappen’s right rear, sending the Dutch driver into the barrier.
However, replays showed Hamilton and Verstappen almost side-by-side on the entry to the corner, before Hamilton appeared to back out slightly.
Hamilton was hit with a 10 second penalty during the race, but was still able to recover and claim his first win since the Spanish Grand Prix in early May, cutting Verstappen’s championship lead to just eight points.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was understandably livid about the accident, laying all the blame at Hamilton’s feet.
He was immediately on the radio to FIA race director, Michael Masi, telling the Australian that the “full blame lies on Hamilton”.
“You could have had a massive accident. Thank God he’s walked away. I hope you’re going to deal with it appropriately,” he said.
Speaking after the race, Horner remained unrepentant.
“He stuck a wheel up the inside in a corner that you just know that you don’t do that,” Horner told Sky Sports.
Speaking immediately after the race, Hamilton wasn’t ready to accept blame for the crash.
“I’ve not really seen the footage, I saw a quick clip of it when I went back to the garage but I will go back and have time to reflect on it,” Hamilton said.
“I don’t think, from my current understanding, that I am in a position to have to apologise for anything. We were out there racing.
“I don’t agree with the stewards but I take my penalty on the chin and get on with my job. I am not going to whine about it. Everyone is going to have a different opinion and I don’t particularly care what people think. I just do what I do and I am just really grateful for today.”
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