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‘Why Are We Giving Them A Platform!?’ Lewis Hamilton Hits Out At Piquet Racism

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Lewis Hamilton has hit out at Nelson Piquet’s racial remarks towards the seven-time world champion at Silverstone. Three-time world champion Piquet’s racial comments directed at Hamilton were revealed on Monday and the Brit has claimed that there needs to be a platform for younger people to come through and have a voice in order to combat racism. On Monday an interview from a podcast in 2021 was released of Piquet using a racial slur to describe Hamilton. The three-time champion in the 1980s was condemned by the sport, with F1 and the FIA issuing statements condemning racism. Piquet is the father of Red Bull star Max Verstappen’s partner, and has been banned from the British Grand Prix.

 

 

Hamilton told Channel 4: “They come from a different time when there was no inclusivity. Today, why are we giving them the platform? We’ve got to stop bringing in younger people who are more conscious of the environment that we live in, more conscious of the direction we need to go in and create more opportunities for them. “That’s what we need to be doing. Creating more of a platform for the younger people to come through and have a voice and be a part of the changes that we’re working towards creating.”

 

 

The British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) claimed Piquet’s language was “wholly inappropriate” despite his apology. They confirmed his Honorary membership had been suspended with immediate effect. A second clip surfaced on Saturday of Piquet referring to Hamilton as a “neguinho” when discussing the 2016 title battle with Nico Rosberg. Piquet has denied making racist comments, claiming his words were lost in translation and were never intended to offend. He claimed he would ”never use the word” and claimed discrimination had no place in F1.

 

 

Hamilton responded to the initial clip, claiming “these archaic mindsets need to change” and that action needs to be taken. “It’s more than language,” the seven-time World Champion wrote on Twitter. “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.”

 

 

Verstappen admitted that Piquet was wrong to use the slur, but did claim that his girlfriend’s father is “a nice guy”. “I’ve spent a bit of time with Nelson,” the Dutchman said. “More than the average person in general – and he’s definitely not a racist. He’s actually a really nice and relaxed guy. The wording which was used – even though there are different kinds of cultures and it’s probably something they said when they were younger – was not correct. He knows that himself. I don’t think he needs me to tell him what is right and what isn’t. “Let it be a lesson for the future not to use that word because it’s very offensive. It can be interpreted in two ways and people pick up on the bad side and of course it gets really blown out of proportion. People label him as a racist now which I don’t think he is, but I fully agree of course you cannot use these words.”

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