F1 drivers rally behind Hamilton after Piquet's racial slur
"All racist or discriminatory language has absolutely no part in our sport and society," said Esteban Ocon, in support of Hamilton.
Sporting codes have a long way to go before racism is eradicated within them. A recent racist remark directed at Lewis Hamilton by Nelson Piquet has freshly put this into perspective.
In a 2021 podcast interview, which came to light earlier this week, Piquet, while criticising Hamilton's driving during the 2021 British Grand Prix, can be heard in Portuguese calling the 37-year-old Brit the N-word. The 69-year-old used the derogatory term while discussing a move Hamilton made against Max Verstappen - who happens to be dating Piquet's daughter, Kelly.
Several F1 drivers have publicly spoken out in support of Hamilton, who is the only black driver in Formula 1 and who has tirelessly campaigned to fight racism in the sport.
Writing on his social media, fellow F1 driver Esteban Ocon said that "all racist or discriminatory language has absolutely no part in our sport and our society", adding that enough was enough.
I join Lewis and the motorsport community in standing against any form of racism, discrimination and prejudice.| Zhou Guanyu (@ZhouGuanyu24) June 28, 2022
Huge respect to LH. He has done more for the sport than any driver in history, not just on track but off it. The fact that he and so many others are STILL having to deal with this behaviour is unacceptable. We all need to stand together against discrimination of any kind. https://t.co/E4c1jFQKtfGeorge Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) June 28, 2022
Following Piquet's remarks, Hamilton in a tweet said the "time has come for action" while Formula One, motorsport's governing body - the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile - and Mercedes all took to social media to condemn the 69-year-old Brazilian.
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 @LewisHamilton and fully support his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motor sport.FIA (@fia) June 28, 2022
On Wednesday, Piquet apologised for the racial slur stating that the translation of the word he used "on social media is not correct".
"I apologise wholeheartedly to anyone that was affected, including Lewis, who is an incredible driver, but the translation in some media that is now circulating on social media is not correct," Piquet said in a statement.
"What I said was ill-thought, and I make no defence for it, but I will clarify that the term used is one that has widely and historically been used colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for 'guy' or 'person' and was never intended to offend," said Piquet.
"I would never use the word I have been accused of in some translations. I strongly condemn any suggestion that the word was used by me with the aim of belittling a driver because of his skin colour."