Hamilton reacts to racial slur made by Nelson Piquet

28/06/2022
NEWS STORY

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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Published: 28/06/2022
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