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'Time for action': Lewis Hamilton hits back after Nelson Piquet used N-word slur
28 June 2022, 11:46 | Updated: 28 June 2022, 14:08
Formula 1 has condemned three-time world champion Nelson Piquet for using a racially abusive term to describe Lewis Hamilton.
Piquet, 69, was speaking on a podcast in Brazil where he used a Brazilian slang word for the N-word to describe the Brit when speaking to publication Estadao.
He used the racial epithet in an interview conducted following the 2021 British Grand Prix.
The Brazilian is reported to have been discussing a collision between Hamilton and his title-rival Max Verstappen which saw the Dutchman retire from the race.
Mutliple record-holding F1 driver Lewis took to Twitter to condemn the use of the word.
He tweeted in Portuguese: “Lets focus on changing the mindset” before adding in English: “It’s more than language.
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.— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) June 28, 2022
“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.”
The comments have only just come to light and Formula 1 and Mercedes both issued a statement immediately supporting seven-time champion Hamilton.
"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," the F1 statement says.
"His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1."
Mercedes, too, highlighted the matter as a reason to "strive for a brighter future".
"We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind," their statement read.
"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."
Piquet, who is the father of Verstappen's current girlfriend, has been contacted for comment.
Martin Brundle tweeted: "The education and deep need for change continues."