July 19, 2021: During and after his controversial victory at the British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton suffered “numerous incidents of racist abuse on social media,” according to a joint statement from the FIA and his Mercedes team, Formula One.
The seven-time world champion was initially involved in an incident in which championship leader Max Verstappen plowed his red bull against a wall and knocked him out of the race. Hamilton was awarded a 10-second penalty but won the race, narrowing the gap to just eight points in the title race.
“During yesterday’s British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was subjected to numerous incidents of racist abuse on social media following the in race collision,” he said in a joint statement condemning the insults in the strongest terms.
“These people have no place in our game and we demand that those responsible be held accountable for their actions. Formula 1, the FIA, drivers and teams are working to build a more diverse and comprehensive game, and such unacceptable examples of online abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.”
Versatapen, who was taken to hospital for a check-up after the race, was later accused by Hamilton of “disrespectful and unsportsman like behavior.”
A week ago, Hamilton, a public supporter of the Black Lives Matter Movement, backed England footballers Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, who were also abused after missing a penalty in the Euro 2020 final.
“I hope this will open up the discussion about acceptance,” he wrote on Instagram at the time. “We need to work towards a society in which black players do not have to prove their worth or place in society just by winning.”
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