Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2021

Hamilton “felt for the first time I didn’t stand alone” against racist abuse after British GP

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton welcomed the support he received within Formula 1 in response to the racist abuse he received on social media after the British Grand Prix.

The FIA and F1, plus rival teams and drivers spoke out against the racist abuse aimed at Hamilton on social media platforms following his collision with Max Verstappen at Silverstone.

The Mercedes driver has encountered abuse since he arrived in the sport in 2007. During pre-season testing in Spain ahead of his second season he was racially abused by spectators including a group in blackface.

Hamilton said while it was not the first time he had been abused, the reaction from those within the sport recently was vastly different to what he experienced earlier in his career.

“It’s nothing new for me, there’s not a huge amount more to add,” said Hamilton.

“I think what I would say is that I was it was amazing to see the support from the sport, from my team and from some of the drivers. I felt for the first time that I didn’t stand alone in the sport because for the other years – the other 27 or whatever years I’ve been racing – no one would ever say anything. When it happened in 2007, no one ever said anything.”

Rival teams including Red Bull and McLaren were among those who spoke out against the abuse Hamilton received.

“It was really amazing to see the steps that we’ve taken,” Hamilton said. “Of course, we condemn that and there’s no room for that sort of abuse.”

“But if I have to be on the receiving end of that in this industry, for people to become aware, then that’s part of my journey,” he added. “That’s why I’m here.”

Facebook, which also owns Instagram, took the unusual step of issuing their own statement saying they had deleted comments and accounts in response to abuse.

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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11 comments on “Hamilton “felt for the first time I didn’t stand alone” against racist abuse after British GP”

  1. Lewis is such an inspiration for everyone! I know how tough it is to educate racists. I have tried it among my society, but there are still cases of racism and I feel sad for that. I fully support Lewis in this case.

    1. IAN M GONDWE
      30th July 2021, 12:41

      Quite right. No room for racism.

    2. Check out ‘How to argue with a racist’ by Adam Rutherford, haven’t read it myself yet but heard him on the radio discussing it, very enlightening.

      1. Thank you, Plossl! Everyone should read this book – even if you have never argued until now, it is still better to know just in case you need it.

  2. Hating someone simply because their skin is a different colour has to be one of mankind’s most pathetic and moronic excuses to put someone down.

    Unfortunately the world is full of pathetic morons so it will continue for the foreseeable future :(

    Reply moderated
  3. So when a bunch of drivers kneeled with him, that apparently didn’t make him feel supported. So why was he asking for that then, if it’s apparently pointless?

    1. I think Lewis here means that he feels the support for the first time when he himself was abused. (I am sorry, English is not my native language, so some sentence structures I might get wrong sometimes).
      Kneeling was in support for the issue in general.

    2. Not sure what your point is @aapje?
      As stated by @bulgarian, the kneeling is a general issue. Just like saying that misogyny is bad will not make women feel supported. Calling out an actual misogynist would be a far stronger support. Same goes for every kind of abuse people can use.

      1. @x303

        It’s part of a pattern where Lewis seems to consider himself to be treated unfairly nearly always, even as he has a level of privilege, power and wealth way. way, way, way beyond what the average person has.

        It’s interesting how so many people are enabling this behavior by the most privileged, not just for Lewis, but in general.

        1. In this case, there is a precedent: in 2007 Hamilton was the target of racist abuse and the F1 world kept quiet.

          But if your point @aapje is: “Lewis Carl Hamilton, you are one of the richest man on earth so you can take some racist remark from time to time, it’s fair”, then I can’t imagine what poor black folks are supposed to go through to not seem to be treated unfairly nearly always when they complain about it.

          1. @x303

            FIA spoke out against it, at least, as one can find by a little Google. As usual, we get the alternative history again from Lewis and the Lewisfans.

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