SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Formula One champions Mercedes have fired four employees and disciplined three others after an enquiry into racist bullying at the team’s factory, British newspapers reported on Saturday.
The team of five-times world champion Lewis Hamilton, who has Caribbean heritage and has spoken out against racism, confirmed in a statement that four individuals had been dismissed.
It said that the dismissals on Aug. 2 “followed an internal investigation that confirmed breaches of our diversity and equality policy”.
“We condemn this behaviour in the strongest terms and acted immediately upon the complaint. We value the diversity of our employees and it is a source of strength for our team,” the statement added.
The Sun newspaper reported there had been a “campaign of racist bullying” against a Muslim employee at the team’s Brackley headquarters.
Hamilton has spoken out about his experiences of racism, calling in March for more of a stand against it in all walks of life after England soccer players reported abusive chants in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.
“I remember being at school and you got a slap on the hand for it (racism) and it is just allowed to slide. That shouldn’t happen anywhere. Action should be taken and we should be a lot stricter with it,” Hamilton said.
Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond