Lewis Hamilton has again been subjected to racial abuse, this time from a former Formula One champion Nelson Piquet who described Hamilton as a “little N-word” in Portuguese.
Three-time F1 champion Nelson Piquet made the statement on a podcast in November but was only discovered recently. Piquet was discussing an incident between Hamilton and Max Verstappen during the 2021 Great Britain Grand Prix at Silverstone.
A transcription of the key passage from the podcast read “The little N-word put the car in and left because there was no way to pass two cars on that corner. He made a joke. Lucky for him, only the other one [Verstappen] got fucked up.”
According to Sky Sports, Piquet used the term a second time during the podcast: “He wanted to take [Verstappen] out no matter the cost. The N-word left the car there to hit him.”
Piquet’s daughter, Kelly Piquet, is dating Verstappen, Hamilton’s chief rival.
On Tuesday, Hamilton, the only Black driver in F1, released a statement calling for action and noting that these comments are nothing new. “It’s more than language,” Hamilton wrote on Twitter.
Hamilton has been an outspoken proponent of more diversity and inclusion across all walks of life, especially in motorsports. Hamilton and his Mercedes team started a diversity initiative after he was jarred at how little diversity there was in a team photo following his 2019 championship.
After Hamilton’s initial tweet, he also wrote one in Portuguese that translates to: “Let’s focus on changing the mentality.”
The governing body for world motorsport also issued a statement condemning the comments from Piquet.
Nelson Piquet now faces a potential ban from all Formula 1 races if he fails to apologise to Lewis Hamilton over his racist outburst.
As a former title winner, Piquet is allowed access throughout the season, but his privileges are now under serious threat.