“It’s more than language,” says Hamilton, the seven-time world champion and the sport’s only black driver. tweeted. “These archaic ways of thinking need to change and have no place in our sport. I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes all my life and aimed for them. There was a lot of time to study. The time to act has come.”
In Portuguese, the most successful driver in Formula 1 tweeted“Let’s focus on changing the mindset.”
Piquet made the comment in Portuguese to Motorsport Talk’s Ricardo Oliveira in November, while discussing a crash from last summer involving Hamilton and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on the first lap of the 2021 British Grand Prix. The 69-year-old ex-Brazilian called the accident a “joke” and added Hamilton was “lucky” only Verstappen crashed.
Piquet’s daughter Kelly is Verstappen’s partner, and Verstappen and Hamilton dueled for the world title for the past year until a controversial decision in the Abu Dhabi final awarded it to Verstappen. This weekend’s British Grand Prix marks the first anniversary of the driver’s accident.
“Discriminatory or racist language in any form is unacceptable and has no part in society,” Formula 1 said in a statement. “Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect. … His relentless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion is a lesson for many and something we are committed to at F1.”
Those of the Mercedes team statement convicted “Strongly any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind. Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to combat racism and is a true advocate for diversity on and off the track.
“Together we share a vision for diverse and inclusive motorsport and this incident underscores the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a better tomorrow.”
The FIA, the governing body of Formula 1, expressed “solidarity with Lewis Hamilton and fully supported his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motorsport.”
The FIA condemns in the strongest terms any racist or discriminatory language and behavior that has no place in sport or in society at large. We express our solidarity with @Lewis Hamilton and fully support his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motorsport.
— FIA (@fia) June 28, 2022
Piquet has previously made controversial statements, questioning the late Aryton Senna’s sexuality and making offensive comments about Nigel Mansell’s wife. The Guardian reported that Formula 1 would not allow Piquet access to his races until he apologized publicly and to Hamilton. Piquet has not yet responded to CNN Brazil’s request.
Hamilton has spoken out more clearly in recent years about the need for more inclusion and tolerance in Formula 1. His team, known as the Silver Arrows, switched to an all-black car in 2020 to support Hamilton’s efforts and he, like most drivers, knelt as a ‘We Race As One’ anti ahead of the races beginning in 2020 -Racism gesture. At the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix he wore a t-shirt that read ‘Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor’ and he set up the Hamilton Commission to improve diversity in Formula One.
“This year I haven’t drawn on past experiences, I’ve drawn on to feed on that energy of that positive work,” he told Sky Sports in October. “That caught my eye last year and it was part of last year. Getting on the podium to give Breonna that vote has been a super ride for me. So now it’s the work that I do in the background and then I show up and enjoy that job.
“Will it help me run? I think so, yes. It’s like my new drive and I feel like it gives me more longevity because it’s a lot of work that we have to do. I feel like it gives my life a real meaning too. Racing isn’t a purpose, it’s something you do.”
In February, the FIA moved away from the pre-race gesture.
“That [knee] This gesture was important for those who thought it was an important gesture because we all have to respect it,” Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali told Sky Sports. “But now is the time to move on and take other action. The action puts the diversity of our community front and center, and that is the first step.”
Hamilton said at the time he didn’t know “if we need this one moment,” adding: “We really should be able to do it at any stage. I felt like the general slogan last year was lumped together with all the different things: I think we can do more and somehow be more impactful. But I don’t know what that is yet.”