September 26, 2022
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Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes, Formula 1 and FIA condemn racially abusive language used by Nelson Piquet about British driver

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Nelson Piquet, world champion in 1981, 1983 and 1987, used the term twice during a podcast last November, with the comments resurfacing ahead of the British GP at Silverstone; Formula 1, FIA and Mercedes have released statements in support of Lewis Hamilton

Last Updated: 28/06/22 1:35pm

Relive Lewis Hamilton's huge crash with title rival Max Verstappen at last year's British Grand Prix.

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Relive Lewis Hamilton’s huge crash with title rival Max Verstappen at last year’s British Grand Prix.

Relive Lewis Hamilton’s huge crash with title rival Max Verstappen at last year’s British Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has called for “action” and said “archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport” after former world champion Nelson Piquet used racially abusive language about him.

Piquet twice used a racially offensive expression in Portuguese when referring to Hamilton during a Brazilian podcast last November.

The 69-year-old was discussing the collision between Hamilton and Max Verstappen during the 2021 British GP, with the comments resurfacing on social media ahead of the first anniversary of the crash.

“The [racist term] put his car there to hit him on purpose,” Piquet said.

Later asked if he felt Hamilton would not make the corner at Copse, Piquet went on to say: “Him? Never!

“He wanted to take him out no matter the cost. The [racist term] left the car there to hit him.

“It’s because you don’t know that bend. It’s a very fast one, and two cars can’t get through. There’s no way two cars can go side by side there. It was a dirty trick!

“He’s just lucky that the only other guy got screwed.”

In response, Hamilton sent a series of tweets. He said: “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 “Vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade”, which is Portuguese for “Let’s focus on changing the mentality.”

Piquet’s words were also criticised by Formula 1, Mercedes and the FIA.

Formula One said in a statement: “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.”

Karun Chandhok was at the SkyPad to take a closer look at the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen during lap one of the British GP.

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Karun Chandhok was at the SkyPad to take a closer look at the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen during lap one of the British GP.

Karun Chandhok was at the SkyPad to take a closer look at the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen during lap one of the British GP.

Hamilton’s team Mercedes said: “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.”

The FIA, Formula 1’s governing body, also released a statement on social media in support of Hamilton, saying: “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 Lewis Hamilton and fully support his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motor sport.”

Piquet is the father of Verstappen’s partner, Kelly Piquet.

When is the British GP on Sky Sports?

Silverstone – the home of British motorsport and a cornerstone of F1 since its 1950 debut – hosts the 10th round of an absorbing 2022 season, and Sky Sports has you covered from Thursday through to Sunday’s race.

On an action-packed weekend and we’ll also have the return of the live F1 Show from Silverstone on Thursday, in which drivers will be joining us for more exclusive interviews. The Show will also be live on the Sky Sports F1 YouTube channel.

The Formula 1 2022 season speeds onto Silverstone this weekend for the world famous British Grand Prix, all live on Sky Sports F1.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The Formula 1 2022 season speeds onto Silverstone this weekend for the world famous British Grand Prix, all live on Sky Sports F1.

The Formula 1 2022 season speeds onto Silverstone this weekend for the world famous British Grand Prix, all live on Sky Sports F1.

All the action can also be followed online and via our digital platforms and streams. Plus, there will also be extensive updates on Sky Sports News.





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