Lewis Hamilton wants ‘action’ after Nelson Piquet’s racial slur


Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1 have condemned former world champion Nelson Piquet for using a racial slur against him in an interview.

Last year, following Hamilton’s controversial win at the British Grand Prix, the 69-year-old Brazilian used a slur when discussing Hamilton on a podcast. The slur, according to the Guardian, “can be translated as the N-word.” The podcast has made it to the public this week.

Piquet is closely related to the controversy at the 2021 British GP. Max Verstappen, who was the victim of a racing incident with Hamilton that put him into the wall, is dating Piquet’s daughter Kelly.

The seven-time world champion has faced racial discrimination before. Last season, after the British GP, he was subject to racist abuse online for celebrating his victory.

“It’s more than language,” Hamilton wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “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 the mindset.”

Hamilton’s team, Mercedes, released a statement supporting its driver: “We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind. Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off track. Together, we share a vision for a diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underlines the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future.”

Nelson Piquet
Nelson Piquet
AFP via Getty Images

Formula 1 as a whole has come together in defense of Hamilton to condemn racism and Piquet himself.

“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,” Formula 1 said in a statement. “His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1.”

Many F1 teams and drivers have shown their support on Twitter for the Mercedes driver, including his teammate George Russell, Ferrari, Aston Martin and others.

Red Bull Racing will notably not be releasing a statement about the incident, per Chris Medland.

Lewis Hamilton will race at Silverstone this weekend.


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Anna C. Knight

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