McLaren Formula One team are investigating after an employee allegedly published several foul-mouthed posts on social media aimed at Lewis Hamilton. A series of posts were uncovered that saw Hamilton labelled a ‘w****r’ and a ‘p****’ from a now-deleted account said to belong to a member of the McLaren team.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton was the subject of several abusive tweets from the individual. And McLaren responded on Twitter: “We consider these comments to be completely at odds with our values and culture at McLaren. We take the matter extremely seriously and are investigating it as a priority.”
The posts were made on private Twitter and Facebook accounts which now appear to have been deleted or suspended. After Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2020, the individual said: “What a f***ing w****r he truly is! Couldn’t stand seeing someone do well!”
One post saw Hamilton labelled a “f*****g p****” while another read: “Oh f*** off! For having the fastest car on the grid. What a w****r.” After Hamilton was disqualified from Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying, another post said: “F***ing get in!!! F*** off you p****.” McLaren are currently looking into the matter.
It is not the first time Hamilton has been subjected to online abuse. He received vile racist abuse after the British Grand Prix last year and opened up on the support he received within F1 after having to deal with such vitriol.
“What I would say is that it was amazing to see the support from the sport, from my team and from some of the drivers,” he said. “I felt for the first time that I didn’t stand alone in the sport, because for the other years, the 27-whatever years it is I was racing, no one would ever say anything.”
The Briton also received racist abuse in just his fourth ever race as a driver – the 2007 Spanish Grand Prix – when fans abused him from the stands in Barcelona. And the 37-year-old revealed after the 2021 British Grand Prix that the sport has come a long way in dealing with abuse in the time between the incidents.
“When it happened in 2007 no-one ever said anything,” Hamilton added. “So it was really amazing to see the steps we have taken. There’s no room for that 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, that’s why I’m here.”
Hamilton currently sits seventh in the F1 Drivers’ Championship this season and endured one of his worst ever finishes in Imola last time out when he ended up 13th.
The Mercedes driver will hope to enjoy a more positive weekend at the upcoming Miami Grand Prix on May 8.