Hamilton, under Team Mercedes, was hit with a 10-second penalty after a collision with Team Red Bull’s title rival Max Verstappen during the first lap of the race, which led to the Dutchman crashing out.
Lewis Hamilton became the latest target of racist abuse on social media following his victory at the Formula One British Grand Prix on Sunday, July 18.
The seven-time Formula One world champion, under Team Mercedes, was hit with a 10-second penalty after a collision with Team Red Bull’s title rival Max Verstappen during the first lap of the race, which led to the Dutchman crashing out.
Mercedes, F1, and governing body of the FIA condemned the abuse “in the strongest possible terms”.
Joint statement from Formula 1, the FIA and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team:
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.
— F1 Media (@F1Media) July 19, 2021
“These people have no place in our sport,” read a joint statement.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning a thrilling British Grand Prix on July 18, 2021. /TWITTER
“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 was taken to the hospital for precautionary checks after suffering an impact of 51G in the crash, but was later released without any major injuries.
Hamilton’s 10-second penalty saw him drop to fourth place after his pit stop, but the seven-time world champion fought back to overtake Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with two laps remaining to secure victory.
Verstappen in a tweet later branded Hamilton “disrespectful” and “unsportsmanlike” for celebrating the win while the Dutchman lay in hospital.
Glad I’m ok. Very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track. Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behavior but we move on pic.twitter.com/iCrgyYWYkm
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) July 18, 2021
The new incident comes just a week after the English Football Association (FA) on Monday, July 12 issued a statement on the racial abuse inflicted on three England players who missed in the penalty shootout during the Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday, July 11.
Manchester United players Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho as well as Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka faced backlash online from fans, which drew wide condemnation from the squad’s captain, manager, royalty, religious leaders, and politicians.
The trio were the targets of the abuse after they missed spot-kicks in a penalty shootout with Italy in the final after the game finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.
“The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media. We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behavior is not welcomed in following the team.
“We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible,” read the statement.
Back in April, Kenyans stood by Hamilton as he eulogised the late US rapper Earl Simmons, popularly known as DMX. Simmons died on Friday, April 9 in White Plains, New York at the age of 50.
His family announced the death in a statement after he was put on life support at White Plains Hospital. On the same day, Hamilton shared a post mourning the late rapper as one whose words and stories helped him overcome difficult times as a child.
Many British netizens took to his comments to bash his preference of DMX over the late Prince Phillip, who died on the same day aged 99 years. A majority of them downgraded the rapper’s legendary status, and Kenyans did not take it lightly.
Image of the late legendary rapper Earl Simmons, alias DMX. /FILE