SILVERSTONE: Mercedes' driver Lewis Hamilton has been subjected to racist abuse on social media after he collided with Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen on the race track in the first lap of the British Grand Prix.
"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. 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," said Hamilton's F1 team Mercedes in an official statement, posted on Twitter.
"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 statement added.
Hamilton and Verstappen had sparred spectacularly throughout the first half lap of the Grand Prix, but made contact at Copse when Hamilton tried to pass up the inside into the fast sweeping corner, with Verstappen spinning hard into the barriers and out of the race -- with Hamilton handed a 10-second penalty for the collision.
Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen had then accused Mercedes' driver Lewis Hamilton of disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour. Due to this collision, Verstappen was sent crashing out of the British GP in just the very first lap of the race.
"Glad I'm ok. Very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us and doesn't do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track. Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behavior but we move on," tweeted Verstappen.
A committed recovery from Hamilton saw him close down the gap to Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the final stages of the race, Hamilton passing the Monegasque driver on Lap 50 of 52 to take an emotional victory in front of an ecstatic British Grand Prix crowd -- with the reigning champion closing the gap to Verstappen in the title race to just eight points.
Hamilton overcame first lap contact with title rival Verstappen and a 10-second penalty to take an eighth British Grand Prix win at Silverstone on Sunday, passing Ferrari's Charles Leclerc -- who led the majority of the race -- with just three laps of the race to go, as the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas took P3.