By Mark Mann-Bryans and Philip Duncan, PA
Lewis Hamilton insists “archaic mindsets” need to change after it emerged former Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet used a racial epithet towards the Mercedes driver.
Reports in Brazil claim an interview conducted following the 2021 British Grand Prix has surfaced in which Piquet (69) uses a slur aimed at Hamilton.
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.
Hamilton responded to the story coming to light by calling for action.
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
The seven-time world champion posted on Twitter: “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.”
He had earlier tweeted in Portuguese “Vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade”, translated as “Let’s focus on changing the mindset”.
Formula One and Mercedes were quick to condemn Piquet and offer support to Hamilton.
“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society,” an F1 statement read. “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.”
Mercedes said in a statement: “We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind.
“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, whose daughter is Verstappen’s girlfriend, has been contacted by the PA news agency for comment.