The small world of the paddocks would have been well spared such controversy. For a few hours, racist remarks made by Nelson Piquet (world champion 1981, 83 and 87) have been exhumed. They were made last year and concern Lewis Hamilton about the accident which took place at the British Grand Prix between the British driver and Max Verstappen, the current boyfriend of… Kelly Piquetthe former pilot’s own daughter.
In a video interview on CNN Brasil from November 2021 with journalist Ricardo Oliveira, Piquet calls Hamilton a “neguinho” (little black) when comparing the accidents involving Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, in 1990 at the start of the Japanese GP, and what happened 31 years later at Silverstonewhich had seen the abandonment of the Dutchman and the victory of the seven-time world champion. The excerpt from the interview was published by the Enerto channel, which specializes in motorsport.
“The little black guy (Lewis Hamilton) put the car on and drove off because there was no way to pass two cars on that corner. He played dirty. Fortunately for him, only the other (Verstappen) screwed up. » racial slurs, including monkey emojis, had rocketed at the end of the race on social networks. In the end, the young Dutchman had been crowned during the ultimate race in Abu Dhabii, winning his first world title at the same time.
The British pilot denounces “archaic mentalities”
The Mercedes driver did not fail to react on Tuesday on his twitter account. ” These are more than words, explains the Briton. These are archaic mentalities that must be changed and which have no place in our sport. I have been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted all my life. There was a lot of time to learn. The time has come to act. »
Formula 1 and the Mercedes team strongly condemned Piquet’s racist remarks: “Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no role in society. Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect. His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to in F1.
On the side of the German manufacturer, the reaction is also unequivocal: “We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind whatsoever. 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 fight for a better future. »