Formula 1 and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team condemned, this Tuesday (28), the use of a racist term by former Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet when referring to seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton.
Piquet called Hamilton a “little black” when commenting on an accident that involved the English driver and the Belgian Max Verstappen, at the Silverstone Grand Prix (GP) in 2021.
The statement came in an interview last November with Motorsports.com, but it only came to light recently.
In a note sent to CNN, Formula 1 stated that “Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect”.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind,” Mercedes said in a statement posted on Twitter.
THE CNN Formula 1 also declares that “discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in all forms and has no role in society”.
The series concludes its statement by saying that Hamilton’s “tireless” efforts “to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to in F1”.
“Lewis has led our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off the track.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 28, 2022
“Together we share a vision for diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underlines the fundamental importance of continuing to fight for a brighter future.”
In addition, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), which regulates Formula 1, reiterated the words of the statement issued by the category, and expressed solidarity with Hamilton.
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 @LewisHamilton and fully supports his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motor sport.
— FIA (@fia) June 28, 2022
“We fully support their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motorsport,” the FIA said.
Former Formula 1 driver Nelson Piquet used the racist term “neguinho” to refer to seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton in an interview.
“The neguinho put the car in and left because there was no way to pass two cars on that curve. He made a joke. His luck is that only the other [Verstappen] fucked up,” Piquet told Motorsports.com in November.
The accident pointed out by Piquet occurred while Hamilton and Verstappen were fighting for first place in the race.
After having the right rear wheel touched by the Englishman, Verstappen lost control and crashed into the tire wall at Silverstone. Hamilton kept the lead until the end of the stage and secured the victory.
In the current season, Max Verstappen leads the championship with 175 points, while Hamilton occupies the sixth position with 77 points. The drivers return to the tracks next Sunday (3), at the Silverstone Grand Prix.
Nelson Piquet was wanted by the CNN, awaiting placement.
Source: CNN Brasil