Formula One has hit back at Nelson Piquet’s use of racist language towards Lewis Hamilton, and the three-time world champion has been convicted for offensive slander targeting him as he described his and Max Verstappen crashes at last year’s British Grand Prix.
Speaking on a Brazilian show, according to CNN Brasil who said the statement was made during the taping of the show in November last year but was only revealed recently, Piquet said: “The little n *****” [Lewis Hamilton] Get in the car and leave because there is no way to overtake two cars in that corner. He told a joke. Lucky for him, only the other [Verstappen] I got f******. “
After the comments emerged, F1 issued a statement on Instagram condemning the language used by Piquet.
“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any way and has no role in society. Lewis is a wonderful ambassador for our sport and deserves respect.” Neither F1 nor the FIA took any action against Piquet, and the organization did not name Piquet in the statement.
The FIA, the international motorsports regulator, also issued a statement repeating what was said in F1, condemning the use of “racist” and “discriminatory” language against Hamilton.
The FIA strongly condemns any racist or discriminatory language or behavior that has no place in sport or in the wider community. We express our solidarity with @Lewis Hamilton and uphold his full commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motorsport.
– FIA (fia) June 28, 2022
Britain’s Mercedes F1 team also responded to Pique’s slander, saying: “Lewis (Hamilton) has led our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and is a true champion of diversity both on and off the track.”
– Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@mercedesAMGF1) June 28, 2022
Verstappen and Hamilton engaged in one of the toughest F1 championship fights in modern history last year, and the British Grand Prix was a huge turning point in the fight. After the Dutchman won the sprint race and started in pole position, Hamilton chased him hard throughout the first lap before colliding with the future world champion.
The Briton was awarded a 10-second penalty but went on to win the race anyway, while Verstappen’s race was over and he had to be taken to hospital for precautionary checks. This resulted in Hamilton swinging 25 points after a string of defeats against the Dutchman in the first half of the season.
Verstappen and Hamilton collide!
Title contenders gather at Copse, sending Verstappen into a high-speed crash.
– Formula 1 (@F1) July 18 2021
Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Hamilton has yet to react to Pique’s insult. So far, the Briton is the only black driver to compete in an F1 race.