LEWIS HAMILTON was the victim of vile racist abuse on social media after his controversial victory at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 36-year-old was hit with a 10 second penalty after he collided with F1 title rical Max Verstappen on the first lap and sent him crashing into the wall at 180mph.
Medics sent the Dutchman, 23, to hospital as a precaution after he had gingerly exited the mangled car.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner angrily castigated the Mercedes driver, who recovered from the setback to win the race after a late overtake of Charles Leclerc.
And Verstappen was left seething after watching Hamilton’s celebrations in front of the 140,000 fans from hospital.
It has now emerged that after his victory, the legendary driver received messages on Instagram that included monkey emojis.
One person wrote ‘I was his fan before this race! very bad… Sir Lewis Hamilton’ before adding a gorilla emoji.
Another message to him only included monkey emojis.
A joint statement from Formula 1, the FIA and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team said: “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.”
The shocking abuse comes just a week after England stars Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were subjected to racist abuse online.
That was after the trio missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final shootout defeat to Italy.
More to follow…