Christian Horner has been accused of giving ‘racists an excuse to let fly their vitriol and evil’ at Lewis Hamilton following his criticism of the Mercedes driver after Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Lord Hain, vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Formula One, believes Horner will ‘regret’ the remarks he made in the wake of Hamilton’s 180mph collision with Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the Silverstone race.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton, 36, was subjected to online racist abuse — during and after the race.
Red Bull joined Mercedes and F1 in condemning the abuse on Monday, and team principal Horner posted a message on social media, saying: ‘Whilst the rivalry is intense on track, highly-charged emotions should never cross the line into racist abuse.’
But Hain, a Labour peer, told the PA news agency: ‘Racists had an excuse to let fly their vitriol and evil at Lewis after what I thought was a very ill-judged, intemperate and plain wrong attack on him by Christian Horner.
Christian Horner has been accused of giving ‘racists an excuse to let fly their vitriol and evil’
Lord Hain believes Horner will ‘regret’ the remarks he made in the wake of Hamilton’s collision
‘I am not suggesting that Christian was implying anything racist in what he said. He was talking in pure racing terms and not racist terms and that is obvious.
‘I hope it was something said in the heat of the moment when Christian was feeling aggrieved. But these are moments when leadership is required and not intemperate outbursts.’
Horner accused Hamilton of risking Verstappen’s life in the 180mph collision that overshadowed the Briton’s victory at Silverstone on Sunday.
Asked if Hamilton’s move at Copse corner could have killed his driver, the Red Bull chief said: ‘Of course. His actions have put in jeopardy another driver’s safety and for me that is unacceptable.
‘Every driver knows that a move at that corner — one of the fastest in Formula One — is a massive, massive risk.
‘You don’t put a wheel up the inside without there being huge consequences. We are lucky today that there wasn’t someone seriously hurt.
‘What I am most angry about is the lack of judgment, and the desperation in this move. It was never on.’