Lewis Hamilton received vile racist abuse online just hours after winning the British Grand Prix in controversial fashion on Sunday at Silverstone.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton, 36, was given a ten second time penalty following a crash with Max Verstappen on the first lap which led to the latter being taken to hospital for precautionary checks.
After being clipped by Hamilton, world championship leader Verstappen, 23, hurtled into the tyre wall at 140mph in a rough incident.
Lewis Hamilton received racist abuse online following his victory at the British Grand Prix
Hamilton was abused after he was involved in a crash with Max Vestappen during the first lap
Hamilton received racist messages on Instagram with one user using a gorilla emoji (left)
Despite the incident, Hamilton responded by securing victory at the British Grand Prix for the eighth time, overtaking Charles Leclerc in the closing stages.
Yet following the race, Hamilton received messages on Instagram from his Sunday evening upload that included monkey emojis.
One user wrote: ‘I was his fan before this race! very bad… Sir Lewis Hamilton’ before adding a gorilla emoji, while another message used monkey emojis.
The abuse directed at Hamilton comes after England internationals Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford received racist abuse online after missing penalties in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
Hamilton has frequently spoken about fighting racism and has pushed for more diversity in F1
Last year, Hamilton criticised the lack of racial diversity in his own sporting discipline on Instagram
Earlier in 2021, Hamilton was the first recipient of the Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Year award due to his involvement in the fight against racism.
The 36-year-old has frequently spoken about fighting racism and has pushed for increased diversity in Formula One.
Last year he hit out at the Formula One community over a lack of racial diversity amid the George Floyd protests.
The six-time world champion said he felt isolated in trying to combat racial discrimination in a sporting discipline he described as ‘white dominated’.
In a post on Instagram, 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 who you are (sic) and I see you.’
Last year, Hamilton established the Hamilton Commission with the Royal Academy of Engineering, which is attempting to help more young people from black backgrounds to be employed in motorsport or in other engineering sectors.
Alongside his anti-racism campaigns, Hamilton is a well known social activist, championing fashionable causes including veganism.
He has also in the past taken criticism from lecturing the world on green issues, while making millions from a gas-guzzling sport which sees teams clock up more than 100,000 air miles each season as they jet to tracks across the world.
Hamilton is worth some £250million with a home in the millionaires’ enclave of Monaco, where his collection of shoes alone spans two rooms, and an Instagram account with 20million followers.
He grew up in a small end of terrace home in Stevenage, and began his venture into motorsport at the tender age of just five, when his father bought him a remote controlled car.
Hamilton began karting in 1993 and quickly began winning races and cadet class championships – becoming the youngest driver to win the British cadet karting championship at the age of ten.
He got his break in Formula One in 2007, partnering two-time and defending World Champion Fernando Alonso at McLaren – becoming the first and so far only black driver to race in the competition.
He finished runner-up of the championships in his debut season, losing by a point. The following year he won by the same margin. He has since scooped six championships – and is battling it out with Verstappen for a seventh.
Hamilton has often talked about his background and experience in F1 – including the racial abuse he suffered even in karting.
And while he has won praise for sharing his experience, his comments have not always provoked a positive reaction.
He upset residents in his hometown of Stevenage by saying it had been his dream to ‘get out of the slums’ while collecting a BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2018.
The leader of Stevenage Borough Council at the time said it was ‘disappointing’ and people felt ‘very offended’.
He later apologised, saying: ‘I wanted to take a second to send a message to people back in the UK, but also to people in Stevenage where I grew up.
‘It’s somewhere I’m incredibly proud of coming from and still love to this day.’