Lewis Hamilton was racially abused on social media after his Grand Prix crash – here’s how Twitter reacted

Lewis Hamilton was racially abused on social media after his Grand Prix crash – here’s how Twitter reacted

Sir Lewis Hamilton has become the latest sporting star to suffer a torrent of racist abuse following his British Grand Prix victory.

The Formula One legend, 36, secured his eighth win on home soil following a crash with rival Max Verstappen, 23, on the opening lap of Sunday’s race.

The 190mph-collision led to the Dutchman having to drop out and Hamilton going on to seize the trophy.

Verstappen later called Hamilton"disrespectful" and "unsportsmanlike" for celebrating the win while he lay in hospital, and the fallout clearly riled up a lot of hate-fuelled commentators. They responded by directing a racist deluge at the 36-year-old online.

It is understood the abhorrent comments came from a number of countries and started in response to posts from both Formula One and Mercedes’ social media platforms.

On Monday, Mercedes, F1 and its governing body the FIA issued a joint statement condemning the harassment, saying: “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.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff later told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We have seen it in the football at the European Championship and the abuse is absolutely not acceptable, and it is the same yesterday.

“I still question whether some just don’t get it. This is not acceptable and we will react to it.”

Meanwhile, scores of Twitter users united in condemnation of the vitriol. Here’s what they had to say:

Verstappen’s Red Bull team also issued a statement criticising the attacks on Hamilton:

Hamilton was handed a 10-second penalty for the accident with Verstappen after the stewards adjudged him to be “predominantly at fault”.

The Red Bull driver was rushed to hospital for precautionary checks following the incident, but his team confirmed he was discharged hours later “without major injuries”.

However, the 23-year-old made no secret of his feelings about the crash, tweeting from his hospital bed:

Speaking after the race, Hamilton told reporters: "I was pretty far alongside [Verstappen], but I could see he wasn’t going to back out. But then we went into the corner and we collided.

"Of course that’s never the way I want to win a race or just in general to race, but these things do happen."

Later, he sent his “best wishes” to his Dutch rival and praised him as an “incredible competitor”.

However, his conciliatory words were not enough to protect him from the wrath of social media trolls.

The fallout comes just a week after footballers Marcus Rashford, Jordan Sancho and Bukayo Saka were racially abused following England’s Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy at Wembley.

Hamilton spoke out in their defence at the time, writing: “The racial abuse on social media towards our players after yesterday’s game is unacceptable. This sort of ignorance has to be stopped.

“Tolerance and respect for players of colour should not be conditional. Our humanity should not be conditional.”

Seven days later it appears that this message has, sadly, fallen on some deaf – and ignorant – ears.

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