Hamilton targeted by online racist abuse as Formula 1, FIA and Mercedes call for action

By Sports Desk July 19, 2021

Formula 1, the FIA and Mercedes have released a joint statement condemning the "unacceptable" online racist abuse aimed at Lewis Hamilton following his collision with Max Verstappen.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton claimed a dramatic victory in Sunday's home British Grand Prix at Silverstone after overtaking Charles Leclerc late in the race.

The 36-year-old recovered from a 10-second time penalty handed to him for a first-lap crash with Verstappen as he cut his title rival's championship lead to only eight points.

Hamilton was accused of "dirty driving" by Red Bull boss Christian Horner after clipping Verstappen on Copse Corner, while the Belgian-born Dutch driver labelled his opponent "disrespectful and unsportsmanlike".

Verstappen required hospital checks after hitting the safety barriers in an impact measuring 51G, but he was released later on Sunday after being given the all-clear.

After Hamilton went on to win the race for an eighth time in his illustrious career, the Englishman was subjected to vile racist abuse on Instagram in the comments section of a post by Mercedes celebrating the victory.

Mercedes, Formula 1 and the sport's governing body the FIA united on Monday to call for action to be taken against those responsible for posting the racial slurs.

"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 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."

Hamilton recently voiced his support for Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho after the England footballers were also subjected to racist abuse on social media after missing penalties in their side's Euro 2020 final shoot-out defeat to Italy.

The England international trio called on social media giants Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to do more to tackle problem users on their platforms.

Speaking last year, Hamilton also called for increased diversity in Formula 1 and accused the sport of not doing enough to tackle racism amid the George Floyd protests.

Related items

  • Real Madrid, CBF join Atletico in condemning Vinicius Junior abuse Real Madrid, CBF join Atletico in condemning Vinicius Junior abuse

    Real Madrid have called on authorities to hold those responsible for the abuse of Vinicius Junior to account.

    Madrid host rivals Atletico Madrid in a Copa del Rey encounter on Thursday.

    In the build-up to the match, pictures were shared on social media showing a mannequin, wearing a Vinicius shirt, hung by the neck from a bridge in the Spanish capital.

    This was condemned by Atleti, who released a statement saying: "Such acts are absolutely repugnant and inadmissible and shame society. Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of persons or institutions is categorical and unreserved."

    Madrid have now joined their neighbours in condemning what they label as a "repugnant act of racism, xenophobia and hatred".

    A statement read: "Real Madrid would like to thank you for the support and expressions of affection received after the regrettable and repugnant act of racism, xenophobia and hatred against our player Vinicius.

    "We would like to express our strongest condemnation of these acts which are an attack on fundamental rights and the dignity of people, and which have nothing to do with the values that football and sport represent.

    "Attacks such as those suffered by our player, or those suffered by any sportsperson, have no place in a society such as ours

    "Real Madrid trust that those who have participated in such a despicable act will be held accountable."

    The Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) also joined in the condemnation.

    "The CBF vehemently repudiates the racist acts suffered once again by Vinicius," a statement read.

    "Intolerance and discrimination are not part of sport and must be eliminated from society. We hope that those responsible are identified and punished under the law."

    LaLiga called for a full investigation to be launched and criminal sanctions issued against guilty parties.

  • Atletico condemn 'repugnant' abuse towards Madrid star Vinicius Atletico condemn 'repugnant' abuse towards Madrid star Vinicius

    Atletico Madrid condemned the "repugnant" actions that have seen Vinicius Jr the target of abuse ahead of Thursday's derby against Real Madrid.

    The two great rivals clash in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey at Santiago Bernabeu, but build-up for the tie has been marred by a section of Atleti supporters.

    Pictures spread on social media showed a mannequin, wearing a Vinicius shirt, hung by the neck from a bridge in the Spanish capital.

    A banner in the colours of Atletico was displayed on the same bridge which read: "Madrid hates Real".

    In a statement, Atletico said: "Such acts are absolutely repugnant and inadmissible and shame society. Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of persons or institutions is categorical and unreserved.

    "The rivalry between the two clubs is the greatest, but so is respect. No individual, whatever their intentions or colours, can tarnish the coexistence between different supporters. It is everyone's responsibility to avoid this.

    "We do not know the perpetrator or perpetrators of this despicable act, but their anonymity does not avoid their responsibility. We hope that the authorities succeed in clarifying what happened and that justice helps to banish this type of behaviour."

    LaLiga also issued a statement on the matter, calling for a full investigation to be launched and criminal sanctions issued against guilty parties.

    "We strongly condemn the acts of hatred directed towards Vinicius Junior. Intolerance and violence has no place in football," the statement read.

    "As it has done before, La Liga will press for a full investigation in search of the facts and the conviction of those responsible, requesting the most severe criminal sanctions."

    It is not the first time Vinicius has been targeted by sections of the Atletico fanbase, with footage outside the Civitas Metropolitano ahead of the LaLiga clash between the two clubs earlier this season showing fans chanting abuse.

  • Alfa Romeo appoint Alunni Bravi as Vasseur successor Alfa Romeo appoint Alunni Bravi as Vasseur successor

    Alfa Romeo have appointed Alessandro Alunni Bravi as team representative following Frederic Vasseur's exit to Ferrari.

    Part of the Sauber Group since 2017, Alunni Bravi's new role effectively fills that of a team principal and he will "represent the team in all official functions at race weekends and away from the track".

    The appointment marks one of the first major tasks completed by Andreas Seidl, who joined as the new CEO of the Sauber Group last month from McLaren.

    "I am delighted to confirm the appointment of Alessandro Alunni Bravi to the role of team representative, in addition to his existing duties of managing director of the Group," Seidl said.

    "His vast experience in motorsport has equipped him with all the tools he needs to succeed, and his intimate knowledge of the team, of which he has been part for more than five years, will ensure stability and continuity in our progression.

    "Alessandro representing the team during the Formula One championship will allow me to focus on growing the Group and preparing for the challenges and opportunities that await us.

    "I thank Alessandro for his belief in our vision and I welcome him to this additional position: I am convinced this is another valuable addition to what is without any doubt a very strong team, from the drivers to the management team, to each one of our employees, capable of building on last year's success and creating a bright future for Sauber."

    The team is entering a transitional period this year, with the Alfa Romeo naming deal expiring at the end of the 2023 season and will be replaced by Audi, who officially enters F1 in 2026.

    Testing ahead of the new season begins in Spain next month, with the first race taking place in Bahrain on March 20.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.