“It’s more than language,” Hamilton, the seven-time world champion and the sport’s only black driver, twitret. “These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. I have been surrounded by these attitudes and purposeful all my life. It has been a good time to learn. The time has come for action.”
In Portuguese, the winning driver in Formula 1 twitret“Let’s focus on changing mindsets.”
Piquet made the commentary in Portuguese in November to Motorsport Talks’ Ricardo Oliveira when he discussed a crash from last summer involving Hamilton and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in the first round of the British Grand Prix in 2021. The 69-year-old former Brazilian the driver called the accident a “joke”, adding that Hamilton was “lucky” only Verstappen crashed.
Piquet’s daughter Kelly is Verstappen’s partner, and Verstappen and Hamilton dueled for the world title last year until a controversial decision in the Abu Dhabi final gave it to Verstappen. This weekend’s British Grand Prix marks the first anniversary of the driver crash.
“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society,” Formula 1 said in a statement. “Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect.… His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson for many and something we are committed to in F1.”
Mercedes teams statement condemned “Strongly any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind. Lewis has spearheaded the sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off the field.
“Together, we share a vision for a diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this event underscores the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future.”
The FIA, Formula 1’s governing body, expressed “solidarity with Lewis Hamilton and fully supports his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motorsport.”
Piquet has made controversial statements before, questioning the sexuality of the late Aryton Senna and making offensive comments about Nigel Mansell’s wife. The Guardian reported that Formula 1 would not give Piquet access to his races until he apologized publicly and to Hamilton. Piquet has not yet responded to CNN Brazil’s request for comment.
Hamilton has become more outspoken in recent years about the need in Formula 1 for greater inclusion and tolerance. His team, known as the Silver Arrows, switched to an all-black car in 2020 in support of Hamilton’s efforts, and he, like most drivers, took a knee before the race that started in 2020 as a “We Race As One”, anti racism gest. At the Tuscany Grand Prix in 2020, he wore a T-shirt that read “arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor”, and he has created the Hamilton Commission to improve the diversity of Formula 1.
“This year I have not drawn on previous experiences, I have drawn on the energy by doing this positive work.” he told Sky Sports in October. “I noticed it last year, and it was part of it last year. Getting on the podium so I can give Breonna that voice, it was a super driving force for me. So now it’s the job I do in the background and then I show up and enjoy this job.
“Does it help me run?” I think so, yes. It’s like my new drivetrain, and I feel it gives me a longer lifespan because there’s a lot of work we have to do. I feel that it also gives my life a real meaning. Racing is not a purpose, it’s something you do. “
In February, the FIA departed from the course gesture.
“The [knee] The gesture was important for those who thought it was an important gesture, because we must respect everyone, Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali told Sky Sports. “But now it’s time to move on and take some other action. Action is the focus on the diversity of our society, and this is the first step.”
Hamilton stated at the time that he did not know “if we need to have one moment,” adding: “We should be able to do it anytime, really. I felt that the overarching slogan last year, with all “I think we can do more and be more efficient in one way or another. But I do not know what it is yet.”