Formula One hit back at three-time world champion Nelson Piquet for making a racist remark against seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and termed the former's remark as 'unacceptable.' The Brazilian driver used an offensive language while describing his and Max Verstappen’s crash at the British Grand Prix last year.
Motorsport's governing body backed the Mercedes driver by calling him the 'incredible ambassador' of the sport and demanding respect for the driver. F1 took a firm stand against Piquet's comment and clearly stated that discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society.
"His (Lewis Hamilton) tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1. His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1," read the F1 statement.
Notably, the 69-year-old Piquet made the offensive comments during a recording of the show in November last year but only came to light recently. After the comments came to light and F1 released a statement condemning the language, Lewis Hamilton also expressed his views on the development as he called it an 'archaic mindset,' which needs to change.
Taking to Twitter, Lewis wrote, "It’s more than language. 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." Even, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the international regulatory body of motorsports, also released a statement voicing their opinion, condemning the use of “racist” and “discriminatory language” against Lewis Hamilton.
Notably, Hamilton and Max Verstappen were engaged in one of the closest F1 championship fights last year and the British Grand Prix was a pivotal turning point in the battle. After the Dutchman won the sprint race and started on pole, Lewis Hamilton aggressively chased him throughout the first lap before colliding with Verstappen.
The Brit was given a 10-second penalty but went on to win the race anyway, while Verstappen’s race ended and he had to be taken to hospital for precautionary checks. It resulted in a 25-point swing in Lewis Hamilton’s favour after a string of defeats to the Dutchman in the first half of the season.