Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix after lap 1 contact ends in crash for Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton targeted with racist abuse online after controversial British Grand Prix victory

Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix after lap 1 contact ends in crash for Max Verstappen,   Lewis Hamilton targeted with racist abuse online after controversial British Grand Prix victory

Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix after lap 1 contact ends in crash for Max Verstappen

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Lewis Hamilton is now just eight points behind Max Verstappen in the Formula 1 standings.

Hamilton won Sunday’s British Grand Prix after he was penalized 10 seconds for contact with Verstappen on the first lap of the race The contact between Hamilton’s left-front tire and Verstappen’s right rear sent Verstappen crashing into the wall and out of the race. Verstappen climbed from his car under his own power after the hard impact and was eventually taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

Hamilton scored 25 points for winning the race after he entered it 33 points behind Verstappen for the title. The two drivers started on the front row after Verstappen won the sprint qualifying race ahead of Hamilton on Saturday. They fought brilliantly on the first lap until Hamilton went for an inside move in Copse corner on lap one.

Verstappen pushed Hamilton low entering the corner and tried to pinch him down toward the curb. The aggressiveness of both drivers resulted in contact and the right rear wheel broke off Verstappen’s car as he went into the wall at a high rate of speed.

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton drives during the Formula One British Grand Prix motor race at Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on July 18, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Lewis Hamilton has eight British Grand Prix wins. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The incident was investigated by race stewards and Hamilton was subsequently penalized 10 seconds on his pit stop for the crash. The stewards ruled that Hamilton was at fault for the crash, though it seemed reasonable to think that it was simply a racing incident between the series’ best two drivers going for a vital piece of track position.

Verstappen got ahead of Hamilton on the first lap of Saturday’s first-ever sprint qualifying race and held the lead for all 17 laps. Hamilton knew Sunday that he could potentially stay ahead of Verstappen if he got in front on the first lap and both drivers realized how vital that track position was immediately from the start. 

Hamilton rejoined the race in fifth after his pit stop. He quickly moved up to fourth when Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz pitted and easily passed McLaren’s Lando Norris for third.

Lewis Hamilton racially abused online after British GP win

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Formula One star subjected to racist abuse on social media following record eighth British Grand Prix victory.

Hamilton is the only Black driver in Formula One and has has been a vocal anti-racism advocate [Andrew Couldridge/Reuters]

Motor racing star Lewis Hamilton has been targeted by racist abuse online after winning the British Grand Prix over the weekend.

The seven-times world champion celebrated a record eighth British Grand Prix victory on Sunday at Silverstone after fighting back from a 10-second penalty for a first-lap collision that ended up with title rival Max Verstappen in hospital.

Hamilton, 36, was targeted online hours after the victory, with racist messages including monkey emojis sent as replies to a post by his Mercedes team on Instagram.

The abuse came amid widespread calls for social media firms to take firmer action on policing abuse on their platforms following a spate of incidents involving racist abuse of high-profile sporting figures in recent weeks

In a joint statement, Mercedes, Formula One and motorsports governing body FIA condemned the abuse of Hamilton “in the strongest possible terms” and sought punishment for those guilty.

“These people have no place in our sport and we urge that those responsible should be held accountable for their actions,” the statement read.

“Formula One, the FIA, the drivers and teams are working to build a more diverse and inclusive sport and such unacceptable instances of online abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.”

 

Social media giant Facebook said on Monday that it had removed several comments directed at Hamilton on Instagram.

“The racist abuse directed at Hamilton during and after the British Grand Prix is unacceptable and we’ve removed a number of comments from Instagram,” a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement.

Hamilton is the only Black driver in Formula One.

He has been a vocal advocate for social justice and is a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.

He said before the race that he was inspired by the response from English football players to racist abuse after several Black stars were targeted online following the national team’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the European Championship final on July 11.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met social media firms last week to ask them to step up the fight against online hate in the wake of the abuse, which saw Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka targeted.

But Johnson and other ministers have been accused of hypocrisy for not condemning those who booed the players at the start of the tournament for their “taking the knee” anti-racism protest.

The racial abuse directed at the trio of English players also prompted a police investigation and country-wide condemnation.

Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen crash: Jenson Button and Sky F1 pundits debate British GP drama

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Should Lewis Hamilton have backed out of the corner or could Max Verstappen also have done more to avoid the British GP crash? Sky F1’s Jenson Button, Karun Chandhok and Damon Hill debate the big first-lap collision, and Hamilton’s time penalty in Sunday’s race

Karun Chandhok was at the SkyPad to take a closer look at the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen during lap one of the British GP.

Sky Sports F1 pundits Jenson Button, Karun Chandhok and Damon Hill have offered their views on the hugely controversial Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash on the opening lap of Sunday’s British GP.

The high-speed shunt, which sent Verstappen hurtling into the barriers and led to a time penalty for Hamilton, who still managed to win his home race, was the first major flashpoint between the two Formula 1 star drivers.

And it understandably stirred quite the fierce debate in the paddock.

Verstappen and Red Bull boss Christian Horner slammed Hamilton as “dangerous” and “desperate” – while the seven-time world champion and his Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff staunchly disagreed.

But what were the views of the Sky F1 experts? Our pundits and ex-drivers Button, Chandhok and Hill had their say after the race…

Button: Hamilton had to back out of it

Max Verstappen hit the barriers after colliding with Lewis Hamilton during the first lap of the British GP, resulting in a red flag

Button, the 2009 world champion and former McLaren team-mate of Hamilton, felt his fellow Brit didn’t quite get alongside Verstappen when he attempted the ambitious pass down the inside of the 180mph Copse corner – and didn’t quite stay to the right-hand side of the track enough.

Because of the speed the two drivers were going, Button said the move was never really going to come off.

“It’s a difficult one,” said Button, who raced in 306 Grands Prix. “Lewis was almost alongside him but that for me was not the most important part – it’s that Max left enough room.

“But at that speed, it’s very difficult on the inside to get around that corner.

“At the speed he was going, Lewis had to back out of it.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton argues Max Verstappen was too aggressive during the wheel-to-wheel battle in the opening stages of the British Grand Prix.

“He’s misjudged the apex, which is completely fair enough because he’s coming in at such a speed from an angle that he never has before. He has missed the apex, there wasn’t enough room for two cars.”

Button, who also competed in 17 British GPs, added: “It is unusual to put the nose in that corner. Normally you are ahead if you’re going to make a move into that corner. That’s just always been the way for me.”

While marginal, Button said he understood the 10-second penalty for Hamilton.

“It’s a difficult one to have a definitive answer on who was wrong,” he stated. “I get the penalty for Lewis, because he was put someone in the wall.

“I think the awareness of Max Verstappen is fantastic, what he can do with the car, and I think that is beyond everyone else. I think that is the struggle when you’re racing him.”

Chandhok: It was a racing incident – and penalty was harsh

Karun Chandhok was at the SkyPad to take a closer look at how Lewis Hamilton won the British GP after colliding with Max Verstappen.

Chandhok analysed the incident in-depth at the SkyPad on multiple occasions on Sunday afternoon – and believed both drivers could have done more to avoid the incident.

Immediately after the crash, he said: “Lewis expected Max to back out of it, and Max expected Lewis out of it. But they’re both racing drivers, and they’re both racing for the world championship.

“Max could have given Lewis more room, and Lewis equally could have gone more to the kerb on the right-hand side.

“If you ask me, they both could have done more. I would probably put it down to a racing incident.”

After the race, Karun maintained that view.

Christian Horner was unimpressed with Lewis Hamilton’s win following a first-lap collision with Max Verstappen that forced the Red Bull driver to retire

“Even after watching it again and again and again, my personal belief is it was still a racing incident,” he explained. “I think both drivers could have avoided the accident.

“Max could have given him more room, Lewis could have backed out of it earlier and gone further to the inside. These are two hard-headed drivers who are being punchy, and feisty and aggressive on the opening lap.”

And he felt the penalty for Hamilton was harsh: “Unfortunately, I think with the way we see penalties this season, in Lewis’ case they came down a bit harder on him because they felt he should have backed out of the move, basically.

“But I personally think the penalty was a little bit harsh.

“If that had happened to two drivers battling for, let’s say 10th and 11th place, do we think they still would have had a 10-second penalty? I’m not convinced. I think five seconds, similar to what drivers got in Austria, would have been OK.”

Hill: Hamilton wasn’t going to go down without a fight

1996 world champion Hill echoed Chandhok in believing both drivers had to take some portion of the blame, commenting: “Lewis has kept it on the inside and really banked on Max backing out of it, which he didn’t do.

“But I’m sure that Max knew that Lewis was there, and he didn’t make enough an allowance for that.

“Two cars shouldn’t come together. If they were young, inexperienced drivers you’d look at that and say calm down.”

FIA Medical Rescue doctor Ian Roberts provides an update on Max Verstappen after his collision with Lewis Hamilton

He also believed Hamilton – after losing out to Verstappen in fierce wheel-to-wheel combat earlier this season – “staked his intention” on Sunday by battling his rival aggressively and not backing out.

“We saw a level of aggression from Lewis that we haven’t seen for a while,” said Hill.

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