FIA, F1, the GPDA, Mercedes, Red Bull and other teams have issued statements about the criminal social media messages targeted at the Briton
By Olivia Kairu
Lewis Hamilton has been subjected to online racist abuse following his controversial accident with Max Verstappen during the opening lap of the British Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Formula 1 community has stood behind the seven-time world champion in condemning the criminal acts. The series, its governing body (the FIA), the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association and teams like Mercedes and Red Bull have all issued statements after an official Mercedes social media post was filled with racial slurs and other hate comments directed at the British race winner.
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“All F1 drivers stand united to condemn the racist abuse Lewis Hamilton was subjected to, during and after Sunday’s British Grand Prix,” said the GPDA, an organization that represents all 20 current F1 drivers, in a Tuesday statement. “The GPDA denounces all forms of discrimination and racism. There is no place, in our sport or society, for abuse of any kind.”
On Monday, Mercedes, the FIA and F1 issued a joint statement in condemnation of the racist online activity.
“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,” read the statement. “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.”
Red Bull has also condemned the racist abuse directed at Hamilton, expressing their ‘disgust and sadness’.
“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,” the Red Bull team statement read. “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.”
Some fellow drivers, like McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, have also issued statements on social media in solidarity with the battle against racism and in condemnation of the attacks against Hamilton.
Hamilton, a known advocate against anti-Black racism and for social justice, has recently been vocal about similar occurrences endured by English Black soccer players Marcus Rashford, Jason Sancho and Bukayo Saka after they all missed penalties on England’s Euro 2020 final shootout loss against Italy.