Lewis Hamilton has condemned Nelson Piquet for using a racist comment about him in an interview
The 69-year-old Brazilian used the pejorative term in a Portuguese podcast following last year’s British Grand Prix when title rivals Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided on the first lap at Silverstone. The podcast appeared earlier this week.
Piquet, the father of Verstappen’s girlfriend, Kelly, called Hamilton a racist term while accusing him of mishandling his car into the first corner. Piquet went on to say that Hamilton was “lucky” to be able to continue in the race.
On Tuesday, the seven-time world champion tweeted:
“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.”
He also tweeted in Portuguese: “Vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade,” which means “Let’s focus on changing our mindset.”
F1 also condemned Piquet’s use of the term in a statement issued on Tuesday:
“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 to be recognized.
“His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1.”
Additionally, Hamilton’s team, Mercedes, issued a statement:
“We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind. Lewis has led our sport’s anti-racism efforts, and he is a true champion of diversity both on and off the track.”
“We share a vision for diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this incident emphasizes the critical importance of striving for a brighter future.”
Formula One will return to Silverstone this coming weekend.