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 rival 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.”
‘NO PLACE IN OUR SPORT’
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.
Hamilton received the Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Year award earlier this year due to his involvement in the fight against racism.
He hit out at the F1 community in 2020 over a lack of racial diversity amid the George Floyd protests.
And the six-time world champion said he felt isolated in trying to combat racial discrimination in a ‘white dominated’ sport.
He wrote on Instagram: “I see those of you staying silent, some of you the biggest stars yet you stay in the midst of injustice.
“Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white dominated sport. I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone.
“I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can’t stand alongside us.
“Just know I know who you who you are (sic) and I see you.”
Meanwhile, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have finally handed over the details of racist trolls who abused England’s Euro 2020 stars.
Five people have been arrested after heroes Rashford, Saka and Sancho were targeted following the Three Lions’ heartbreaking defeat to the Azzurri.
Social media giants had faced mounting pressure to give up the thugs posting abuse – after bosses were hauled before Boris Johnson for a dressing-down last week.
Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council football policing lead, said the companies are now “working very closely” with the UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU) to track down all of the vile trolls.