FORMULA ONE and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team have condemned despicable racist language used by ex-F1 champion Nelson Piquet.
The Brazilian used a derogatory term in an interview that was given in November last year when speaking about the 2021 British GP.
Piquet, whose daughter Kelly is in a relationship with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, slammed Hamilton’s driving at Silverstone where he made contact with the Dutchman on an explosive first lap.
Verstappen was sent hurtling in the barriers and taken to hospital for checks while Hamilton went on to win his home race for an eighth time.
Piquet claims Hamilton was at fault and referred to him with the offensive term, which was initially missed by local Brazilian media.
F1 has now responded in a statement in support of Hamilton saying: “Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society.
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“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 at F1.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes team have also slammed Piquet, who won the world championship with Brabham in 1981 and 1983, and again with Williams in 1987.
A statement from Mercedes said: “We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind.
“Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off track.
“Together, we share a vision for a diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underlines the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future.”
While F1 have been swift in their response, there is no indication yet what positive action will be taken.
Outraged fans have urged them to ban Piquet from attending any future F1 events, challenging the sport to stand up to their “We Race As One” motto.
Earlier this month, Hamilton was made an honorary citizen of Brazil after a bill was passed in Brazilian parliament.
The racer, 37, who has widely admitted Brazilian F1 star Ayrton Senna was his idol, has been championed by the public.
His image has also been widely used in conjunction with opposition to controversial Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro.