F1 Seven-time Champion Lewis Hamilton, claimed victory by overtaking long-time leader Charles Leclerc late on in front of 140,000 spectators at Silverstone. As the 36-year-old recovered from a 10-second time penalty for a huge first-lap crash with title rival Max Verstappen on a dramatic afternoon.
Some of the racist messages including ‘monkey emojis’ and other racial slurs were sent as replies to a post by the Mercedes team on Instagram celebrating Hamilton’s success.
However, Facebook – the parent company of Instagram – told Sky Sports News: “The racist abuse directed at Lewis Hamilton during and after the British Grand Prix is unacceptable and we’ve removed a number of comments from Instagram.
“In addition to our work to remove comments and accounts that repeatedly break our rules, there are safety features available, including Comment Filters and Message Controls, which can mean no one has to see this type of abuse. No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we’re committed to the work to keep our community safe from abuse.”
Meanwhile, Formula 1, the FIA and Mercedes released a joint statement condemning the abuse and called for action to be taken against those responsible.
It read: “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 behavior 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.”