Mercedes calls on social media firms to take action after Lewis Hamilton received racist abuse following his controversial British Grand Prix win
- Lewis Hamilton received racist abuse online after winning British Grand Prix
- Hamilton was involved in a crash with Max Verstappen in the first lap on Sunday
- British driver was sent messages that included gorilla and monkey emojis
Mercedes have called on social media companies to take urgent action in stopping abuse after Lewis Hamilton received racist taunts following his British Grand Prix win.
Hamilton took victory at Silverstone after sending title rival Max Verstappen crashing into the tyre wall at 180mph at Turn 9 on the opening lap.
The Brit was sent monkey emojis online after the race, as well as being called a ‘gorilla’.
Lewis Hamilton received racist abuse online following his victory at the British Grand Prix
In a joint statement with Formula One and the FIA governing body, Mercedes condemned the abuse in the strongest terms and said: ‘These people have no place in our sport. We urge that those responsible are 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 vowed to take positive action as a team.
Hamilton was abused after he was involved in a crash with Max Verstappen during the first lap, before he went on to win
Hamilton received racist messages on Instagram with one user using a gorilla emoji (left)
He said: ‘We have seen it in the football at the European Championship and the abuse is absolutely not acceptable, and it was the same on Sunday. I still question whether some just don’t get it. This is not acceptable. We will react to it.’
Hamilton, 36, was targeted on Instagram like England stars Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, and Facebook, who own the photo-sharing app, said comments are being filtered. But they stressed that ‘no single thing will fix this challenge overnight’.
Hamilton has not commented on the abuse but in light of the vile messages aimed at Saka, Rashford and Sancho last week, he said: ‘Tolerance and respect for players of colour should not be conditional. Our humanity should not be conditional.’
Today Formula One released a joint statement with the sport’s governing body, the FIA, and Hamilton’s team Mercedes-AMG Petronas condemning the abuse
Hamilton has frequently spoken about fighting racism and has pushed for more diversity in F1
Last year, Hamilton criticised the lack of racial diversity in his own sporting discipline on Instagram