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Hamilton reacts to racial slur made by Nelson Piquet

NEWS STORY
28/06/2022

Following comments made in a podcast in which three-time world champion, Nelson Piquet used a racial slur in describing Lewis Hamilton, the Briton has reacted, calling for a change of mind-set.

On Monday, footage emerged on social media from an interview Piquet carried out in Portuguese - his native tongue - last November, in which he used a racial slur to describe the seven-time world champion.

By this morning, F1 had officially reacted to the footage, issuing a brief statement on social media.

“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society," it read.

“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.”

The sentiments were echoed by Mercedes, the FIA and the remaining teams, as Hamilton himself finally reacted.

"Vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade," he initially tweeted, which translates as "Let's focus on changing the mind-set".

"It's more than language," he added in a subsequent tweet, in English. "These archaic mind-sets 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 incident comes a week after Red Bull suspended junior driver Juri Vips for uttering the same racial slur whilst live-streaming a video game he was playing.

The two incidents occurring so close to one another have led to some describing the sport as a "hot bed of racism", while others are somehow linking Max Verstappen to the row as his partner, Kelly is Piquet's daughter.

The controversy comes at a time the sport is enjoying unprecedented popularity and no doubt F1 bosses will be keen to prove the critics wrong.

Teammate, George Russell was first driver to react, the Briton tweeting: "Huge respect to LH. He has done more for the sport than any driver in history, not just on track but off it.

"The fact that he and so many others are STILL having to deal with this behaviour is unacceptable. We all need to stand together against discrimination of any kind."

For his part, Piquet has form in terms of making derogatory comments about others within the sport, having previously insulted the likes of Ayton Senna and Nigel Mansell.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 30/06/2022 1:34

"As predicted, if Piquet wants to attend a race he'll have to wear a mask when navigating the turnstiles...."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 29/06/2022 12:31

"IMO people should simply educate themselves and try to understand the background to these 'words/sayings' in their country of origin...in this case the lingua franca of Brazil. One should also examine the context of what was said to whom and when and in relation to a highly emotive occurrence unique to that race and the two protagonists. Obviously the word/phrase is taboo in many societies and that also needs to be fed into the mix. I posted some time back about an incident, strangely enough in Rio when an Amercan pal and I were asked to leave a bar on the Copa simply because we were white!! No biggie, we left and went elsewhere. Brazil is a bix mixing pot and it takes in all kinds of characters. Piquet will now be cancelled and we can move on."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Stitch431, 29/06/2022 8:40

"I don't entirely agree. I do agree that we should fight racism but the case is that it doesn't have this severe meaning in the Brazilian/Portuguese language. It is a common saying in this language. Is that good? not really but people use other words to insult people in everyday language too.
I believe it to be more or less a slip of the tongue. Was it smart? No, it was not! Is the response proportional? I don't believe it is.
If someone is called an **hole that is insulting too and that goes by without fuzz on a daily basis.
But above all, it is the one who now pretends that he is being done a great injustice, who, without any form of leniency, rode Max off the track at that speed and at a very dangerous point and he knew it. That person is now pretending to be the victim. But what if Max would have been really hurt badly in that crash? Do you believe Lewis would have refrained from cheering for his 8th title at the end of the season? Think again! In my opinion, Lewis just uses this to escalate matters for gaining an advantage. That is how he always works. I don't think he is a nice human being. Regardless of his skin color. "

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4. Posted by Great_white_shark, 29/06/2022 4:55

"I am glad that despite how everyone feels about Lewis, we are all in agreement that this is in poor taste and it has no place in the world. Very rare to see a sports comment section that doesn't turn into a name-calling cesspool full of racists. This and the editorial articles are what keeps me coming back every day "

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Endre, 28/06/2022 20:18

"Interesting how this surfaces almost a full year after the incident. I wonder if it would have made such headlines if Max would not be dating his daughter. "

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by @R1Racing71, 28/06/2022 19:14

"So far RB’s response is to sack their test driver for a calling his mate a name while they play computer games.
That should keep the social media vultures at bay."

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7. Posted by Ricardo_sanchez, 28/06/2022 18:58

"@Burton - yes; he once made a comment about Mansell’s wife being ugly. He also said Enzo F was senile and spread a rumour that Senna was gay. "

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8. Posted by @R1Racing71, 28/06/2022 18:33

"Pity the poor PR buggers at Milton Keynes. Coming into work today all breezy and smiley looking forward to preparing press releases for Silverstone.

Then Nelson delivers this all over your bloody desk."

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9. Posted by Ricardo_sanchez, 28/06/2022 18:09

"What does Piquet have in common with Eric Clapton? One answer is obvious. The other one is that they were both good friends with George Harrison. "

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10. Posted by Burton, 28/06/2022 17:58

"Can't say I'm surprised, Nelson has form, as the article points out. (Was it Mansell's wife?)"

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11. Posted by Kristofforo, 28/06/2022 17:56

"This is interesting given a large amount of the media are calling out Vips as being young and inexperienced for what he said, meanwhile a senior of the sport isn’t exactly showing the way! Piquet should be banned from attending etc.
There is no space for these racist attitudes in life, let alone in sport. "

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12. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 28/06/2022 17:46

"What world do these folks live in where this word is still acceptable."

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13. Posted by @R1Racing71, 28/06/2022 15:46

"Well, this should give the Media Communication's team in Milton Keynes a headache this afternoon.

On a far more serious note, I feel Piquet may not be the only multiple world champion to think this attitude has any place in the modern world. Just another reason why Lewis, should not under any circumstances be retiring anytime soon.

I hope he has the opportunity to go and show 'em.
Again."

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