Updated: June 29, 2022 9:30:12 am
Formula One has reacted to Nelson Piquet’s use of racial language towards Lewis Hamilton, condemning the former three-time World champion for the offensive slur he aimed at the Brit while describing his and Max Verstappen’s crash at the British Grand Prix last year.
While speaking on a Brazilian show, per CNN Brasil who said the statement was made during a recording of the show in November last year but only came to light recently, Piquet said: “The little n***** [Lewis Hamilton] put the car in and left because there was no way to pass two cars on that corner. He made a joke. Lucky for him, only the other one [Verstappen] got f****** up.”
After the comments came to light, Hamilton reacted to the comment on Twitter, saying, “It’s more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.”
It’s more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) June 28, 2022
F1 also released a statement on Instagram condemning the language used by Piquet.
“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society. Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect,” it read. Neither F1 nor the FIA has taken any action against Piquet so, and the organisation did not mention Piquet’s name in the statement.
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The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the international regulatory body of motorsports, also released a statement echoing that of F1, condemning the use of “racist” and “discriminatory language” against Hamilton.
The FIA strongly condemns any racist or discriminatory language and behaviour, which have no place in sport or wider society. We express our solidarity with @LewisHamilton and fully support his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motor sport.
— FIA (@fia) June 28, 2022
The Brit’s F1 team Mercedes also reacted to Piquet’s slur, saying “Lewis (Hamilton) has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off the track.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 28, 2022
Verstappen and Hamilton were embroiled in one of the tightest F1 championship fights in recent history last year, and the British Grand Prix was a big turning point in the fight. After the Dutchman won the sprint race and started on pole, Hamilton aggressively chased him throughout the first lap before colliding with the future world champion.
The Brit was given a 10-second penalty but went on to win the race anyway, while Verstappen’s race ended and he had to be taken to hospital for precautionary checks. It resulted in a 25-point swing in Hamilton’s favour after a string of defeats to the Dutchman in the first half of the season.
Verstappen and Hamilton collide!
The title rivals come together at Copse, pitching Verstappen into a high-speed crash.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 18, 2021
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Hamilton, a joint-record seven-time F1 world champion, has not reacted to Piquet’s slur yet. To this date, the Brit is the only black driver to compete in an F1 race.
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