Lewis Hamilton has been targeted with online racist abuse hours after winning the British Grand Prix.
He won the race for the eighth time in his illustrious career with an astonishing comeback in front of 140,000 spectators at Silverstone.
The Brit recovered from a ten-second time penalty for a huge first-lap crash with title rival Max Verstappen in what was a dramatic start to the race.
Verstappen and Red Bull chief Christian Horner both criticised Hamilton for his conduct but the seven-time world champion insists he raced fairly.
However, things later took a very sinister turn as it emerged Hamilton received racist abuse online hours after the victory.
Sky Sports report racist messages including monkey emojis and other racial slurs were sent as replies to a post by the Mercedes team on Instagram celebrating Hamilton’s success. Sky Sports News contacted Facebook, the parent company of Instagram for comment.
As well as being a huge success on the track, Hamilton has consistently spoke out against racial inequality throughout his career.
The 36-year-old most recently showed his support for Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka as they were racially abused online after their missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final.
Hamilton has been a high-profile voice in the fight against racism and called for action to create a more diverse and inclusive society.
The Mercedes driver established the Hamilton Commission with the Royal Academy of Engineering to look into the barriers over representation of black people in motorsport.
Sky Sports’ report adds that the commission presented its findings and made ten recommendations for the future to improve opportunities both in the motorsport industry and the UK’s education system.
On the idea of his commission, Hamilton said: “It’s all been about understanding. So I was asking a lot of questions for a long, long time, for years. Why am I one of the very few people of colour here? There was never a good answer, no one ever knew.
“No one was going to do the work so it was perfect opportunity for me. I was like ‘I’m going to do the work and get the research in’.
“For me I really wanted to understand the root of the cause so that I could know better but also the industry, we can go on a journey together.
“So it’s great to see what Formula 1 are coming out with [scholarship programmes for underrepresented groups were announced this week] and I know the FIA [Federation Internationale de l’Automobile] will be following with something soon.
“But that’s kind of pre-emptive, that’s not done with this research, so now they’ll have these findings to be really able to back up and make sure that it’s sufficient so we are really getting to the root of the cause and making real tangible changes.”