Lewis Hamilton has been sent disgusting racist abuse online after winning the British Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion, 36, won the race after a collision with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the first lap.

He received a 10-second penalty over the knock, which caused his 23-year-old title rival to crash out of the race.

Verstappen was taken to hospital as a precaution but was later released without any major injuries.

Hamilton went on to win the race but became the target of racist abuse after celebrating his victory on Instagram.

The Mercedes driver wrote: “I’m so proud of what we achieved today through teamwork. My team showed grit, perseverance, and commitment to this incredible sport. It’s a dream to win in front of my home crowd. This is for you. Never Give up, keep rising, keep fighting.”

While many couldn’t wait to congratulate the Mercedes driver, there were a number of sickening responses.

Racist messages including monkey emojis and other racial slurs were sent as replies to the post.

 

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A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton)

“I was his fan before this race! very bad… Sir Lewis Hamilton,” one abuser said, signing off with a gorilla emoji.

Another bigot sent Hamilton a message containing only monkey emojis.

Monkey emojis are extremely offensive and racist.

Emojipedia explains: “There is a long history of Black people being referred to as monkeys or apes by white people.”

“This is rooted in white supremacy. It’s dehumanizing and it’s racist.

“It’s impossible to separate the monkey emojis from this long-standing racist trope when they’re used to disparage, insult, and abuse Black people.”

The abuse comes a week after England footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were sent racist abuse for missing a penalty in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff told BBC Radio 4: “We have seen it in the football in the European Championship and the abuse that is absolutely not acceptable, and the same yesterday, and I still question whether some just don’t get it.

“This is not acceptable and we will react to it.”

 

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Verstappen’s team Red Bull Racing said it was “disgusted and saddened” by the racist attacks.

The team said in a statement: “While we may be fierce rivals on the track, we are all united against racism. We condemn racist abuse of any kind towards our team, our competitors and our fans.

“There is never any excuse for it, there is certainly no place for it in our sport and those responsible should be held accountable.”

Hamilton has long been vocal about the issue of racism in sport.

Most recently, he stood in solidarity with England footballers Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho after England’s 3-2 penalty defeat to Italy.

He said: “We must work towards a society that doesn’t require Black players to prove their value or place in society only through victory.

“Ultimately everyone on the England team should be so proud of their achievement and how they represented us.”

Mercedes, F1 and the FIA have condemned the abuse “in the strongest possible terms”.

The joint 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.”

In 2020, Hamilton spoke candidly about the sport’s lack of diversity.

 

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He said: “I see those of you staying silent, some of you the biggest stars yet you stay in the midst of injustice.

“Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white-dominated sport. I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone.

“I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can’t stand alongside us.

“Just know I know who you are and I see you.”

Hamilton is, to this day, the only Black person to ever compete in Formula 1.

The world champion founded the Hamilton Commission in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering last year, with the goal to encourage people of colour to get involved in motorsports.

We stand with you, Lewis!

Image by Alamy