Formula 1 officials have condemned former world champion Nelson Piquet after he racially abused reigning driver Lewis Hamilton.
Piqué referred to Hamilton’s skin color in a discriminatory term while speaking on a podcast in November. The video of the interview went viral on Tuesday.
Hamilton, a seven-time Formula One champion, said on Twitter that words were “more than language”.
“These archaic views must change and have no place in our sport,” he wrote.
“I was surrounded by such views, and I have been aimed at them all my life. I had enough time to learn. It’s time to act.”
Hamilton also tweet in portuguese“Let’s focus on mindfulness” (“Let’s focus on changing mindset”).
His Twitter comments came after F1 and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) condemned “racist language”.
“Discriminatory or racist speech is unacceptable in any form and is not relevant to society,” F1 said in a statement. statement.
“Lewis is an incredible representative of our sport and deserves respect. His relentless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson for many and one that we are committed to at F1.”
The motorsports governing body also expressed “solidarity” with Hamilton on Twitter, adding that it “fully supports his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motorsport”.
Hamilton, the only black driver in F1, is campaigning against racism in motorsport and has been vocal about human rights violations.
Hamilton and most of the drivers took a knee before the 2020 and 2021 races to protest against racism.
Piqué’s offensive comments were made on Enerto’s YouTube podcast.
The former three-time world champion from Brazil was referring to the crash between Hamilton and Max Verstappen during last year’s British Grand Prix. As a result of the collision, Verstappen retired from the race, and Hamilton won.
Speaking to Enerto, Pique called the incident a “joke” and said that Hamilton was “lucky” only that Verstappen crashed.
Dutch driver – who won a controversial victory over Hamilton to win the 2021 F1 World Championship. – currently dating daughter Pique Kelly. Piqué was also known for controversial statements during his racing career.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team, known as the Silver Arrows, switched from silver to an all-black car in 2020 to support Hamilton’s anti-racism efforts.
“We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind,” Mercedes said. said on Twitter.
“Lewis has led our sport’s efforts to fight racism and is a true champion of diversity on and off the track. Together we share a vision of a diverse and inclusive motorsport and this incident highlights the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future.”
Two years ago, Hamilton slammed former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for making “ignorant and uneducated” comments about racial injustice.
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate and British driver George Russell also said on Twitter that he has “tremendous respect” for his compatriot.
“[Hamilton] has done more for the sport than any racing driver in history, not only on [the] trail, but outside of it,” Russell said.
“The fact that he and many others are still having to deal with this kind of behavior is unacceptable. We must all stand together against discrimination of any kind.”