Motor racing-Red Bull split with F1 team member over racist texts

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary - July 19, 2020 Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi and Red Bull's Max Verstappen are seen wearing 'End Racism' t-shirts before the race Mark Thompson/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Formula One championship leaders Red Bull have parted company with an employee after the discovery of racist text messages, the team said.

Sky Sports television reported the unnamed team member used racist language in personal exchanges, which came to light after being published on social media.

It said the person concerned was not a high-profile member of the trackside team.

"We condemn racist abuse of any kind. We have a zero-tolerance approach to racist behaviour. The person in question is no longer an employee of Red Bull Racing," the team said in a statement.

No details were given.

Red Bull and Max Verstappen are leading the championships and fighting Mercedes and seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton, the sport's only Black driver, suffered racist abuse after colliding with Verstappen at this month's British Grand Prix.

That first lap incident dumped Verstappen out of the race while Hamilton went on to win. The pair are now separated by just eight points ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, round 11 of the season.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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