Hamilton: F1's response to racial abuse "the first time I didn't stand alone"

Lewis Hamilton has called the support shown by Formula 1 in the wake of receiving racist abuse online “amazing”, saying it is “the first time I didn't stand alone”.

Hamilton: F1's response to racial abuse "the first time I didn't stand alone"

Hamilton received racist abuse on social media in the wake of his victory at the British Grand Prix two weeks ago, prompting F1, the FIA and Mercedes to issue a joint statement condemning the messages.

This was followed by a wave of support from other teams and drivers on the grid showing solidarity with Hamilton, F1’s only black driver.

Speaking for the first time about the messages, Hamilton said it was “nothing new for me”, but felt the response by the series was a stark contrast from when he faced abuse in the early part of his F1 career.

“What I would say is that it was amazing to see the support from the sport, from my team, and from some of the drivers,” Hamilton said in Thursday’s FIA press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I felt for the first time that I didn't stand alone in the sport. Because for the other years, or 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. So it was really amazing to see the steps that we've taken.

“Of course we can’t condone 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, that's why I'm here.”

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 3rd position, congratulates Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, in Parc Ferme

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 3rd position, congratulates Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Speaking last year, Hamilton said that the lack of action to combat the racism he faced in the early part of his career made “complete sense” following comments by former F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone.

In April, Hamilton called on social media companies to do more to combat racism online ahead of a boycott of their platforms that originated in English football.

Hamilton has been leading F1’s messaging in its push for greater diversity and inclusivity, and recently revealed the findings of The Hamilton Commission, which is working to create an industry more reflective of society as a whole.

Mercedes changed its car livery to an all-black colour scheme ahead of the 2020 season in a strong anti-racism message, and has kept the design for this year.

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen explains why he thinks Hamilton deserved bigger penalty

Previous article

Verstappen explains why he thinks Hamilton deserved bigger penalty

Next article

Hamilton wouldn't change F1 British GP pass attempt on Verstappen

Hamilton wouldn't change F1 British GP pass attempt on Verstappen
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus Plus

The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus

Graham Hill was nearly 30 when he made his Formula 1 debut. NIGEL ROEBUCK examines the life of a gifted racer whose talismanic personality defined an era

Formula 1
Sep 11, 2021