Formula One, FIA and Mercedes have issued a joint statement highlighting "multiple instances of racist abuse" that driver Lewis Hamilton had to face following his British Grand Prix win. Barely a week ago, Hamilton had supported England footballers Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho after they were subjected to racist abuse following missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final.
"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. 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," the joint statement said. On the contrary, Verstappen later accused Hamilton of "disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour".
What exactly happened during the race
The seven-time champion roared back from a first-lap incident that sent championship leader Max Verstappen to the hospital and overcame a 10-second penalty to win the British GP and reignite his title defence. Verstappen had ploughed his vehicle into a wall and eventually bowed out of the race. Hamilton won at his home track to snap a run of five races without a victory. He had dropped from second to fifth after he served his penalty, picked up two spots when he returned to the track and then Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas was ordered to move out of Hamilton's way.
It gave him 11 laps to chase down leader Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari and Hamilton made the pass for the win with just two laps to go and on the same corner where he had tangled with Verstappen. The British driver was cheered on to his eighth career victory at Silverstone by the passionate home fans, who also gave him a standing ovation.
Hamilton, who then drove a victory lap brandishing the British flag, cut the gap to Verstappen in the drivers' championship from 33 points to eight.