Hamilton responds after Piquet racial slur controversy

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2022.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2022.

Lewis Hamilton has reacted to the situation involving three-time F1 World Champion Nelson Piquet, after the Brazilian labelled him with a racial slur.

The seven-time World Champion was the target of a racial slur used by Nelson Piquet in an interview towards the end of the 2021 season.

As reported earlier, Piquet used a racial slur when addressing the events of last year’s British Grand Prix during an interview conducted in Portuguese with Brazil’s Motorsport Talks.

The comments have been corroborated by several of Brazil’s leading publications and broadcasters, leading to widespread condemnation of Piquet’s comments. Both Mercedes and F1 have issued statements addressing the words used by the three-time F1 World Champion, while the FIA have also released a statement.

“The FIA strongly condemns any racist or discriminatory language and behaviour, which have no place in sport or wider society,” said the governing body.

“We express our solidarity with Lewis Hamilton and fully support his commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion in motor sport.”

Hamilton himself has reacted to the controversy. A Twitter user with the handle @formularaducanu tweeted “What if Lewis Hamilton just tweeted ‘Who the f**k is Nelson Piquet?’ then closed twitter”.

Hamilton retweeted this message, captioning it with his own words: “Imagine”.

The seven-time World Champion, who heads into his home race at Silverstone this weekend, followed up his message with a message in Portuguese, Piquet’s native language.

“Vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade,” Hamilton wrote, which translates to “Let’s focus on changing the mentality”.

Continuing to address the situation, Hamilton tweeted again to say: “It’s more than language. These are 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.”