BAD LUCK IN 2016: Twitter users accused Mercedes of deliberating derailing Lewis Hamilton's race at the 2016 Russian GP. Image: AFP / Alexander Nemenov
Cape Town - While South Africans were having their say about Cape Town-resident Matthew Theunissen's racist remarks on Facebook, another storm erupted on social media as Formula 1 fans voiced their opinions regarding Lewis Hamilton's 'cursed' car.
F1 fans, mostly those in support of triple champion Lewis Hamilton, accused the Mercedes-Benz F1 team on Twitter of deliberately sabotaging the champion's 2016 title challenge.
Hamilton has been plagued by reliability issues since the start of the 2016 season. At the 2016 Russian GP, Hamilton suffered a mechanical problem though he was able to finish the race.
Here's a brief timeline of how events unfolded during the 2016 Russian GP:
• On Saturday (April 30), a crestfallen Hamilton vowed to 'never give up' in his world title defence as another engine failure wrecked his hopes in qualifying.
• On Sunday (May 1) Mercedes announced Hamilton would start in 10th place on the grid as a new fuel system was flown out by private jet to remedy the engine's problem.
• On Sunday (May 2), Hamilton finished in second place, with team mate and closest rival Nico Rosberg grabbing his fourth consecutive victory in 2016.
• During the race, Hamilton's car suffered from a "water pressure issue" and was told to back off. Despite his car's issues and he was able to finish the race.
And that's when fans took to Twitter to voice their conspiracy theories:
Mercedes responded to conspiracy theorists:
• Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff says the conspiracy theorists suggesting his outfit favour Nico Rosberg over Lewis Hamilton are "a bunch of lunatics".
Wolff said: "I want to ignore this bunch of lunatics who think we would want to harm a driver, who is our driver and who has been a double world champion for us.
Mercedes responded on Monday (May 2) with this:
But the fans still had the final say: