Formula 1 teams and FIA condemn the online racism Lewis Hamilton received after his Silverstone Win
The Silverstone Grand Prix drama intensified as fans took to social media to voice themselves on the Copse corner crash. The crash, which resulted in Max Verstappen going through the tyre wall at a rapid speed of about 290kph, did not sit well with a lot of fans. As they took to twitter to voice their opinions, the things took a turn for worst. As a result, Lewis Hamilton was subjected to racist remarks.
The ninth race of this Formula 1 season gave us a collision that sparked a heated debate online among the F1 fans, with some directing racist and abusive phrases and emojis towards Hamilton. The seven times world champion is no stranger to hate however, this instance has outraged the teams and the FIA.
Verstappen was forced to retire in the first lap due to the controversial collision. As a result, Red bull was furious and went on the record demanding penalty from the race director. Verstappen, who won the sprint race the day before, was a fan favourite. This DNF did not fare well with the fans.
What caused the outrage?
Max fans were euphoric on Saturday after the sprint, qualifying as the Championship leader held a 33 point lead. The joy soon turned into horror in the Lap 1 of the main race as a racing battle between the two favourites took a turn for the worse and Verstappen had to retire.
This led to a heated social media frenzy, which began just as the incident happened. The heated reactions kept piling and piling as the race moved forward. There were a lot of angry discussions regarding the penalty which was awarded to Hamilton post investigation by the stewards.
Red Bull announced their discontent in interviews and social media. Max Verstappen came out of the hospital unharmed and took to social media to call Hamilton ‘disrespectful’ and ‘unsportsmanlike’ for his celebration. As a result, some fans took it to be an opportunity for them to spew hate.
Reaction of the Fans
Some fans went out of their way to post racist remarks and emojis like with reference to his ethnicity. The British driver is no stranger to hate and racist remarks in his decade long career.
Thousands of such comments were posted all over the Mercedes, as well as Hamilton’s social media handles. “The racist abuse directed at Hamilton during and after the British Grand Prix is unacceptable and we’ve removed a number of comments from Instagram,” said a spokesperson for Instagram.
Reaction from the Authorities
The online racist abuse was condemned by the FIA and the Grand Prix Drivers Association. Both released a statement denouncing the heinous acts committed towards the brit driver and supported adequate punishment for those involved.
All the teams stood united against such degrading attacks and issued a statement denouncing these acts. Firstly, RedBull team principal Christian Horner took to Instagram to denounce the abuse. Secondly, the RedBull racing team also issued a statement as a result of massive racist outrage which explained their side as the closest on track rivals.
Mercedes Team have also issued a statement against the racist remarks posted. Formula 1 in recent years have tried to combat the situation and are working towards building a safe and inclusive environment for everyone.
Irony is that this abuse comes days after Hamilton’s condemning of the racial abuse against English Players after the Euro 2020 Final.