Lord Peter Hain says, while he doesn’t believe Christian Horner’s words were motivated by racism, they gave racists “an excuse to let fly their vitriol and evil” at Lewis Hamilton.
After Lewis Hamilton’s collision with Max Verstappen on Lap 1 of the British Grand Prix, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner aimed a number of harsh words at the seven-time champion.
Among other ludicrous statements, he implied Lewis caused the collision on purpose, he said his actions “left in jeopardy another driver’s safety”, but at the same time he called his actions an “amateur and desperate mistake”. So which was it, a deliberate move or “a desperate mistake”?
Although many current and ex Formula 1 drivers believe that the collision is a classic example of a racing incident, Red Bull stuck to their narrative.
After that the floodgates of racist attacks on Hamilton were opened, and the social media was flooded with revolting remarks and shameful use of emojis.
Now Lord Peter Hain, vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Formula One, decided to call out Horner for his “ill-judged, intemperate and plain wrong attack”.
“Racists had an excuse to let fly their vitriol and evil at Lewis after what I thought was a very ill-judged, intemperate and plain wrong attack on him by Christian Horner,” Lord Hain told the PA news agency.
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“I am not suggesting for one moment that Christian Horner was implying anything racist in what he said. He was talking in pure racing terms and not racist terms and that is obvious.
“But most Formula One drivers said that it was a racing incident. These are two absolutely top drivers battling for the crown and Lewis has had to give way to Max before when Max was being aggressive, and I think Lewis decided that this time he wasn’t going to bullied out of the way.
“I hope it was something said in the heat of the moment when Christian was feeling aggrieved and that is understandable. But these are moments when leadership is required and not intemperate outbursts.
“Christian has shown a lot of leadership and maturity in his Formula One career, but his comments were eyebrow-raising.
“I couldn’t believe this was the same considered, careful, articulate person that he normally is, so I am sure he will regret it,” Lord Hain concluded.