Method One officers have condemned former world champion Nelson Piquet after he used a racial slur in opposition to present driver Lewis Hamilton.
Piquet had referenced the color of Hamilton’s pores and skin with a discriminatory time period whereas talking on a podcast in November. A video of the interview emerged on-line on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the Brazilian issued a press release by which he apologised “wholeheartedly to everybody who was affected, together with Lewis.”
However he additionally stated he needed to “make clear” media reviews and stated he “would by no means use the phrase I’ve been accused of in some translations”.
“I strongly condemn any suggestion that I used the phrase in an effort to demean a driver due to his pores and skin color,” Piquet added.
Hamilton — a seven-time F1 champion — had stated on Twitter that the phrases had been “greater than language”.
“These archaic mindsets want to vary and haven’t any place in our sport,” he wrote.
“I have been surrounded by these attitudes and focused my entire life. There was loads of time to study. Time has come for motion.”
Hamilton additionally tweeted in Portuguese“Let’s deal with altering the mindset” (“Let’s deal with altering the mindset”).
His feedback on Twitter got here after each F1 and the Fédération Internationale de l’Car (FIA) had condemned “racist language”.
“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any type and has no half in society,” F1 stated in a assertion.
“Lewis is an unbelievable ambassador for our sport and deserves respect. His tireless efforts to extend range and inclusion are a lesson to many and one thing we’re dedicated to at F1.”
Motorsport’s governing physique additionally expressed “solidarity” with Hamilton on Twitter, including that it “totally helps his dedication to equality, range and inclusion in motorsport.”
Hamilton — the one Black driver in F1 — has campaigned in opposition to racism in motorsport and has been outspoken on human rights abuses.
Hamilton and most drivers took a knee earlier than races in 2020 and 2021 as an anti-racism gesture.
The racially abusive feedback by Piquet had been made on the ‘Enerto’ podcast on YouTube.
The previous three-time Brazilian world champion had been referring to a crash between Hamilton and Max Verstappen throughout final 12 months’s British Grand Prix. The collision resulted in Verstappen retiring from the race, whereas Hamilton went on to safe victory.
Talking to Enerto, Piquet had labelled the incident a “joke” and stated Hamilton had been “fortunate” solely Verstappen crashed.
The Dutch driver — who controversially triumphed over Hamilton to win the 2021 F1 World Championship — is at the moment relationship Piquet’s daughter, Kelly. Piquet was additionally recognized for controversial remarks throughout his racing profession.
Hamilton’s Mercedes crew, referred to as the Silver Arrows, switched from silver to an all-black automobile in 2020 to assist Hamilton’s efforts to fight racism.
“We condemn within the strongest phrases any use of racist or discriminatory language of any form,” Mercedes stated on Twitter.
“Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to fight racism, and he’s a real champion of range on and off monitor. Collectively, we share a imaginative and prescient for a various and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underlines the elemental significance of constant to try for a brighter future.”
Two years in the past, Hamilton had criticised former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for making “ignorant and uneducated” feedback about racial injustice.
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate and fellow British driver George Russell additionally stated on Twitter that he has “large respect” for his compatriot.
“[Hamilton] has achieved extra for the game than any driver in historical past, not simply on [the] monitor however off it,” stated Russell.
“The truth that he and so many others are nonetheless having to cope with this behaviour is unacceptable. All of us want to face collectively in opposition to discrimination of any form.”