Hamilton after racist abuse: 'I didn't feel alone for the first time in my F1 career'


Hamilton says he no longer feels alone in F1 after support following racist abuse

Lewis Hamilton, 2021 Hungarian GP

Hamilton says F1 would not have responded to racist abuse when he was a rookie

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton says support he received following the racist abuse that was aimed at him following the British Grand Prix marked a huge step for Formula 1.

Following the crash on the first lap with Max Verstappen, Hamilton was subjected to a vast amount of racist comments in the aftermath across social media, which was condemed by F1, the majority of the teams and drivers.

Ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver reflected on the support and said that the sport had moved on from the point in which he joined back in 2007.

“It was amazing to see the support from the support from my team, and from some of the drivers,” he explained. “I felt for the first time that I didn’t stand alone in a sport.

“For all the other years I’ve been racing, no one would have ever said anything. So it was really amazing to see the steps that have been taken.

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“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.”

Last season, Hamilton was critical of his fellow drivers and the sport for being silent around the Black Lives Matter movement at the height of the protests against social injustice.

It prompted a few to speak out against racism and many continue to take the knee as part of their pre-race anti-descrimination messages alongside Hamilton.

The reigning world champion was also quizzed on his crash and rivalry with Verstappen and said that wheel-to-wheel racing was a positive thing for the sport.

“In terms of the move, I’d do it exactly how I’d done it in the past.

“I remember when I first started watching, particularly watching footage, but at the time it was just exciting. I have no idea whether it [rivalry] was good or bad for the sport.

“Today, I think, just like growing up, wheel-to-wheel racing was always the best, from karting. The most exciting part of motor sport is when you see close racing. We’re now seeing two teams incredibly close on performance. If there’s more people watching then that tells you all you need to know.”