The Formula One fraternity has recently taken a firm stand against the racist comments made by Nelson Piquet against Lewis Hamilton. The three-time F1 champ talked about the contact between Hamilton and Max Verstappen during the British Grand Prix in 2021. In an interview with Portuguese Motorsports Talk the same year, Piquet referred to Hamilton with the N-word and claimed that the Briton made a dirty move when the contact happened.
The two 2021 championship rivals went up against each other during the first lap in Silverstone last year. Verstappen clashed with Lewis at 180mph and made a heavy impact with the barriers. But the recently broadcasted interview created a great deal of criticism from stars across the motorsport against the racial slur used by the former Brazilian driver.
After the crash in Silverstone, Hamilton also received a lot of online criticism and harassment from the fans. Following the incident, the F1 stated that opinion and rivalry are central to motorsport. However, the racing body pointed out that there was no place for racism and discrimination.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton harshly responded to Piquet\’s comments and stated that it was more than language. The Briton advocated that such archaic mindsets needed to be changed and had no place in F1. Lewis further shared that he had been dealing with such attitudes all his life. The 37-year-old added, \”There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.\”
F1 also issued a statement claiming that discriminatory and racist language was unacceptable and had no part in society. The Mercedes racing team also came in support of their lead driver, mentioning that they condemned any kind of racist comments in the strongest terms. The Silver Arrows shared that Lewis has been crucial to F1 efforts to deal with racism and is a true champion of diversity on and off the track.
Hamilton Encourages Changes With His Voice & Recognition
The seven-time world champ is currently the only active Black driver in F1. Lewis had been vocal about the Black Live Matter movement and criticized the police for brutality and systematic racism. In a 2020 interview, the Briton revealed that George Floyd and Breonna Taylor\’s deaths moved him. He was vocal about discussing the matter in the racing world and in society.
Hamilton shared that his purpose was to use his voice to encourage change. Thus, his goal is to shift the sport in a direction that would have never happened if he was not a part of it. He added, \”And almost certainly not have gone if the Black Lives Matter movement hadn\’t started, if George\’s life wasn\’t so visible.\”
Last September, Hamilton stated that F1 needed to be more inclusive. He said that they needed to keep the discussion alive. However, Lewis pointed out that words were required to be followed by actions.