The publication which published Helmut Marko’s quote (detailed below) has deleted their post without comment, and likewise Lewis Hamilton has removed his Instagram post.
Earlier Lewis Hamilton had condemned Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko’s alleged comments suggesting the Briton would be ‘distracted’ by the Black Lives Matter protests.
While the Marko quote is unverified, the outspoken Austrian is reported to have told German broadcaster RTL that “some drivers are distracted, talking about lives which matter” and reportedly added, “the only thing that matters to Max [Verstappen] is the world championship.”
In response, Hamilton took to social media to criticise the Austrian.
“Helmut, it deeply saddens me that you consider fighting for equal treatment of black people and people of colour a distraction,” he said on Instagram. “I’m actually quite offended.”
“A distraction for me was fans showing up in blackface to taunt my family on race weekends. A distraction for me was the unnecessary and additional adversity and unfair treatment I faced as a child, teen, and even now, due to the colour of my skin.
“I hope this speaks volumes to the few people of colour you do have on your team, about your priorities and how you view them. Wake up. This sport needs to change.”
Hamilton has been vocal in his support for racial equality in both F1 and wider society as a whole in recent weeks, earning the support of many in the F1 paddock after an earlier social media post in which he criticised the F1 world for its inaction on the issue.