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Formula 1

28th Jun 2022

Lewis Hamilton slams ‘archaic mindsets’ following Nelson Piquet’s racially abusive remarks

Daniel Brown

‘I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life’

Lewis Hamilton has called for action and insisted that ‘archaic mindsets need to change’ after Nelson Piquet was condemned for using racially abusive language in reference to the British driver.

Piquet, who won the world title on three occasions, used a racially offensive term about the Mercedes driver on a podcast last year.

He was condemned by many – including Formula 1 and Mercedes – for his comments, and Hamilton has insisted that ‘it is more than language’ and that he has been ‘surrounded by these attitudes and targeted his whole life’.

The 37-year-old wrote on Twitter: “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.”

What did Piquet say about Hamilton?

The 69-year-old used a racially offensive term about the Mercedes driver on a podcast while discussing the incident between Hamilton and Max Verstappen during last year’s British Grand Prix, which he labelled “a joke”.

Piquet also suggested that Hamilton had been “lucky” that only the Red Bull driver crashed, before using a swear word in expressing his opinion that the Briton had made a mistake during the race. He described Hamilton as ‘neguinho’, a Brazilian Portuguese term which refers to Hamilton’s skin tone.

F1, Mercedes condemn Piquet

An F1 statement read: “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.”

It continued: “His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1.”

Mercedes wrote: “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.”

Hamilton has been extremely vocal in pushing for racial equality in motorsport, but also in wider society. He was named as the Powerlist’s most influential black person of 2021, and has previously described it as ‘liberating’ to push for change.

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