Sports
GBR | Jun 28, 2022

Former F1 Champion Nelson Piquet refers to Lewis Hamilton as a ‘nigger’

/ Our Today

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Brazilian Nelson Piquet.

By Al Edwards

Racism is pervasive in sport. There is no way that can be denied.

Brazilian Nelson Piquet, a Fortune One World Champion back in the 80s, referred to Formula One living legend Lewis Hamilton as a “nigger” while speaking about a racing incident between Lewis and his rival Max Verstappen.

“What happened at Silverstone? The ‘neguinho’ (Hamilton) put the car up the inside and drove off.

“Senna didn’t do that. Senna went straight on. Do you really think he wasn’t going to spin?

“He was like I’m going to do it here anyway. The ‘neguinho’ (nigger) put the car in and went because there was no way two cars were going to go through that corner. He played dirty.”

Piquet was speaking in Portuguese during an interview with Brazilian journalist Ricardo Oliveira.

“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society. Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect.”

Formula One governing body FIA

Hamilton is English with his father coming from the Caribbean island of Grenada. He has the distinction of winning the most races in Grand Prix history and has seven Formula One World Championships to his name.

Some argue that he is the greatest racing driver ever.

Nelson Piquet won three Formula One Championships (1981, 1983 and 1987).

Responding to Piquet’s racial epithet, Hamilton took to Twitter with: ”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.”

Formula One governing body FIA has come out in full support of the British racing ace, declaring: “Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society. Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect.”

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. (File Photo: REUTERS/Martin Keep)

Hamilton was also backed by his racing team, Mercedes, which put out a statement reading: “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 the 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.”

Hamilton continues to be an ardent supporter of making motor racing more diverse and has called out racism wherever he sees it on many occasions. He continues to be bold and unafraid in this regard.

Sir Lewis Hamilton, 37, will be looking to win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend, thereby setting a record of nine wins there.

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