F1 has shared a statement after an interview from Nelson Piquet Sr surfaced recently regarding the happenings of Silverstone 2021 race.
As we approach to the 2022 British GP weekend, an interview of Piquet Sr from November 2021 surfaced online regarding the happenings of the 2021 race at Silverstone where Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided while fighting for the race lead.
Hamilton won the race, while Verstappen paid a visit to the hospital. There was quite the verbal war within the paddock and among the fans too. Lots of opinions flew around and among them was one from Piquet Sr, who spoke about it with Motorsport Talk.
The interview with the Brazilian media is seemingly from November 2021 where Piquet Sr used a racist term to describe Hamilton. Multiple Brazilian channels have quoted the multiple F1 world champion using the derogatory word.
With the interview getting limelight, F1 was forced to release a statement regarding the same, siding with Hamilton and the work he has done for the sport. It is a big statement from the sport amid the topic of diversity taking centerstage.
“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society,” it said. “Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect. His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1.”
Moments later, Mercedes too came in support of its driver, with the FIA also shocasing support. “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 Lewis Hamilton and fully support his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motor sport,” the governing body stated.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 28, 2022
UPDATE: Following the messages from F1, FIA and Mercedes, Hamilton took to Twitter to share his thoughts in Portuguese. He wrote: ‘Vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade’ which means ‘Let’s focus on changing the mindset’.
In another longer tweet, he stated: “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.”