Lewis Hamilton has been subject to hoards of racist abuse following his win at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.
The seven-time world champion was involved in an incident with Red Bulls Max Verstappen and received a 10-second penalty for causing the Lap 1 crash.
Having fought back from that penalty – which saw him drop to 5th – Hamilton overtook the leading Ferrari of Charles Leclerc on Lap 50 of 52, to take the victory.
According to reports, the racist messages included ‘monkey emojis’ among other racial slurs written beneath a picture that the Mercedes team posted after the race.
A spokesperson for the social media platform told Sky Sports; “The racist abuse directed at Lewis Hamilton during and after the British Grand Prix is unacceptable and we’ve removed a number of comments from Instagram.
“In addition to our work to remove comments and accounts that repeatedly break our rules, there are safety features available, including Comment Filters and Message Controls, which can mean no one has to see this type of abuse.
“No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we’re committed to the work to keep our community safe from abuse.”
Formula 1, the FIA, and Mercedes released a joint statement condemning the abuse and called for action to be taken against those responsible.
#F1 – Joint statement from Formula 1, the FIA and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team: https://t.co/990rCopD0W
— FIA (@fia) July 19, 2021
It read: “During, and after, yesterday’s British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was subjected to multiple instances of racist abuse on social media following an in-race collision.
“Formula 1, The FIA and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms.
“These people have no place in our sport and we urge that those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.
“Formula 1, the FIA, the drivers, and the teams are working to build a more diverse and inclusive sport, and such unacceptable instances of online abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.”
A number of other teams came out to condemn the actions of a few people, with Red Bull saying: “While we may be fierce rivals on track, we are all united against racism.
“We condemn racist abuse of any kind towards our team, our competitors, and our fans.
“As a team, we are disgusted and saddened to witness the racist abuse Lewis endured yesterday on social media after the collision with Max.
“There is never any excuse for it, there is certainly no place for it in our sport and those responsible should be held accountable.”
A statement from Christian. 📝 pic.twitter.com/DOezZvXAQ5
— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) July 19, 2021
Later, McLaren released a statement that said: “McLaren stands with Formula 1, the FIA, and our fellow teams and drivers in condemning the deplorable racist abuse towards Lewis Hamilton.
“Racism must be driven out of our sport, and it’s our shared responsibility to unite and eliminate it.”