Lewis Hamilton has been joined by Formula 1, the FIA, and the Mercedes F1 Team in condemning racist comments made by Nelson Piquet in reference to the seven-time World Champion.
Piquet was a guest on a Brazilian podcast last November and speaking in Portuguese at the time. He referenced Hamilton’s crash with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix and used a racist term to refer to Hamilton. The Guardian reports the term can be translated as the N-word.
The podcast resurfaced in the lead-up to this week’s British Grand Prix.
“The [racist term] put his car there to hit him on purpose,” Piquet said. “He wanted to take him out no matter the cost. The [racist term] left the car there to hit him.”
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Hamilton quickly denounced Piquet’s language in a tweet.
“It’s more than language,” he wrote. “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.”
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
Formula One also criticized the language used by Piquet and said that language of this sort will not be tolerated in the sport.
“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. His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1.”
Hamilton has been one of the most outspoken figures in Formula 1 in pushing for more diversity and inclusion throughout the sport. He also created the Hamilton Commission to address the underrepresentation of Black people in UK motorsport.
In a statement, the FIA also condemned Piquet’s comments.
“The FIA strongly condemns any racist or discriminatory language and behavior, which have no place in sport or wider society. We express our solidarity with Lewis Hamilton and fully support his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motorsport.”