Lewis Hamilton calls for change in Formula 1 after Nelson Piquet used racial slur

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Lewis Hamilton has called for a change of “old mentalities” after three-time Formula 1 champion Nelson Piquet used racial slurs.

He used Pique, who won the championship in 1981, 1983 and 1987 Title In a 2021 podcast published on Monday, it was immediately criticized by Formula 1, the FIA ​​and Mercedes team Hamilton.

“It’s more than just language,” said Hamilton, the seven-time series champion and the only black driver in Formula One, chirp. “These old mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. I have been surrounded by these situations and targeted my whole life. There was plenty of time to learn. It was time to act.”

In Portuguese, the winning driver in Formula 1 chirp“Let’s focus on changing the way you think.”

Pique made the comment in Portuguese in November on Motorsport Talk’s Ricardo Oliveira discussing an accident last summer involving Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the first lap of the 2021 British Grand Prix. The 69-year-old Brazilian described the accident as “A joke,” adding that Hamilton was “lucky” to just crash Verstappen.

Pique Kelly’s daughter is Verstappen’s partner, and Verstappen and Hamilton competed for the title last year until a controversial decision in the Abu Dhabi final. Gave it to Verstappen. This weekend’s British Grand Prix marks the anniversary of the drivers crash.

“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any way and has no role in society,” Formula One said in a statement. “Lewis is a wonderful 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.”

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Mercedes team condemnation statement “In the strongest terms, any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind. Lewis has led our sport’s efforts to combat racism and is a true champion for diversity both on and off the track. Together, we share a vision for a diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underscores the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future. .”

The FIA, the governing body of Formula 1, has expressed its “solidarity with Lewis Hamilton and its full support for his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motorsport.”

Pique has made controversial statements before, questioning the sexuality of the late Ayrton Senna and making offensive comments about Nigel Mansell’s wife. The The Guardian reported That Formula 1 will not allow Pique access to its races until he apologizes publicly and to Hamilton.

Hamilton has become more vocal over the past few years about the need in Formula 1 for more inclusion and tolerance. His team, known as the Silver Arrows, switched to an all-black car in 2020 to support Hamilton’s efforts, and he, along with most drivers, has injured his knee ahead of races starting in 2020 as a “We Race As One” opponent. racist gesture. At the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix, he wore a T-shirt that read “Stop the Cops Who Killed Brianna Taylor” and set up the Hamilton Commission to Improve Diversity in Formula 1.

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“This year I have not benefited from previous experiences; I have been relying on nourishing this energy from doing this positive work,” he said Sky Sports in October. “I noticed it last year and it was a part of last year. He got on the podium so I could give Briona that voice, it’s been such a great drive for me. Now, that’s the work I do in the background, and then I come and enjoy that job.”

“Does it help me race? I think so, yeah. It’s like my new driving, and I feel it gives me more longevity because there’s so much work to do. I feel it also gives my life a real purpose. Racing isn’t a goal. It’s something you do” .

in february, The FIA ​​moved away from the prerace gesture.

“The [knee] The gesture was important to those who thought this was an important gesture, because we need everyone’s respect,” Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula 1 He told Sky Sports. But now it’s time to move on and take some other action. The business is to focus on the diversity of our community, and that’s the first step.”

Hamilton stated at the time that he didn’t know “whether we needed that moment”, adding: “We should be able to do that at any point, really. I felt like the overall motto last year, with all the different things in one, I think we can do more and be more impactful in some way. But I don’t know what that is.” Until now “.

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