‘Archaic mindsets’ says Lewis Hamilton after Nelson Piquet racial slur

Lewis Hamilton says “the time has come for action” to change “archaic mindsets” after racist remarks from three-time Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet.

Piquet made a racial slur when referring to Hamilton in an interview on a Brazilian podcast late last year, with the comments surfacing this week.

This led to Piquet’s comments being condemned by F1 and the FIA, while Hamilton’s Mercedes team also issued a statement supporting the seven-time world champion.

Hamilton took to social media to address the matter on Tuesday afternoon, writing initially in Portuguese:

“Let’s focus on changing the mindset.”

“It’s more than language,” Hamilton added in a subsequent tweet.

“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”

The tweets were preceded by Hamilton responding to a fan tweet that read ““what if Lewis Hamilton just tweeted ‘Who the f**k is Nelson Piquet?’ then closed twitter”

Lewis Hamilton demands action after Piquet uses racist epithet about him
Nelson Piquet

The 69-year-old Brazilian used the pejorative term in a Portuguese-language podcast after last year’s British GP, when rivals Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided on the first lap at Silverstone. The podcast surfaced this week.

Piquet, who is the father of Verstappen’s girlfriend Kelly, used a racist term about Hamilton while accusing him of misdirecting his car into the first corner. Piquet added that Hamilton was “lucky” to stay in the race.

The seven-time world champion said on Twitter on Tuesday in Portuguese:

“Let’s focus on changing the mindset.”

Hamilton, who is the only black driver in F1 and the only black world champion, has been striving to bring about change in motorsport.

Hamilton has been one of F1’s leading voices spreading an anti-racism message, as well as taking steps to improve diversity and inclusion across the sport.

Hamilton established the Hamilton Commission, which conducted a report analyzing black representation in motorsport. It turned out that only one percent of F1 employees were of black origin.

Along with his Mercedes team, Hamilton launched the Ignite charity last summer as a joint initiative to support greater diversity and inclusion, which works in conjunction with Hamilton’s personal Mission 44 foundation.

Ferrari showed its support for Hamilton via social media, saying: “We stand with F1, Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes AMG-F1 against any form of discrimination.”