Formula 1: Nelson Piquet racially insults Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1 takes on three-time world champion Nelson Piquet. As has only now become known, he made derogatory remarks about Hamilton’s skin color in November.

A racist derailment by three-time Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet against Lewis Hamilton caused outrage in the premier class on Tuesday. The statements were “unacceptable”, said Formula 1, and the world association Fia also condemned the choice of words.

Hamilton responded via Twitter at noon. “Let’s focus on changing the mindset,” wrote the record world champion, initially in Portuguese, Piquet’s native language. It’s not just about racist language, he then added: “These outdated ways of thinking have to change and have no place in our sport.” He was surrounded by such attitudes all his life, he was a target: “There was a lot of time to learn. Now is the time to act.”

In a podcast, Piquet made derogatory remarks about Hamilton’s skin color

The comments of the Brazilian Piquet, 69, were made last November but were only publicly addressed in the run-up to Hamilton’s home race at Silverstone next Sunday. In a podcast, Piquet had rated the serious accident between Hamilton (Mercedes) and eventual world champion Max Verstappen (Red Bull) at Silverstone 2021, mentioning Hamilton’s skin color disparagingly.

Formula 1: Nelson Piquet (archive photo from 2015) was often noticed during his active time with insulting statements.

Nelson Piquet (archive photo from 2015) was often noticed during his playing days with insulting statements.

(Photo: Janos Marjai / dpa)

“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable and has no place in society,” said Formula 1. Hamilton is “an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect. His tireless commitment to more diversity and inclusion is a role model for many.”

The world champion team Mercedes made a similar statement. Hamilton is at the forefront of sport’s fight against racism, “he’s a true champion on and off the track. Together we have the vision of diverse and inclusive motorsport.” The incident underscores the importance of continuing to strive. Piquet is the father of Verstappen’s partner Kelly Piquet. During his playing days, he was repeatedly noticed by insulting statements about competitors or teammates.