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Lewis Hamilton ‘shouldn’t have to brush off racism’ as he calls on F1 to do more to combat discrimination in the sport

SIR LEWIS HAMILTON is calling on Formula One to do more to combat racism following the sick abuse he received from Nelson Piquet.

Brazilian triple-world champ Piquet has been banned from attending races after using the N-word in an interview to describe Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton was the subject of two racial slurs by two-time champ Nelson Piquet
Pique referred to twice referred to Hamilton as the N-word during an interview

Pique issued a grovelling apology but insists his comments weren’t racist

Piquet, 69, offered a grovelling apology but denied it was racist.

However, he was yesterday reprimanded by Red Bull driver Max Verstappen — who is dating his daughter Kelly — for using the “offensive” word.

F1 has a highly prominent We Race As One anti-racism campaign But Hamilton insists bosses are not doing enough to stamp out the abuse.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the seven-time world champion said: “Enough is enough.



Read Hamilton’s response to bizarre Ecclestone claim and on Piquet racism row


Who is Nelson Piquet, and what did he say about Lewis Hamilton?

“I’ve tried to take that higher road and avoid it — but no one should have to brush off racism and it shouldn’t be for me to have to brush it off.

“There is still discrimination throughout the world, so it’s still clearly all around us.

“You see it on social media, these micro-aggressions that continue to come out.”

Asked about F1 and FIA support over Piquet’s slur, Hamilton said while it was encouraging, they needed decisive action.

Through his own privately-funded commission, Hamilton — who has invested £20million into the project — drew up a charter for F1 teams to sign to improve diversity and inclusivity.

However, not all teams have signed it.

He added: “We need organisations, big organisations, to take a stand.

“It’s now a knee-jerk reaction to release statements from companies around the world when something like this happens.

“They probably already have a script ready for something like that, crisis management. But it’s not enough.

“Now it’s about actual real action. We’ve now got to actually start acting over this.

“We really need Formula One and all the teams that have committed to signing this charter.

“I’ve done that work with the Hamilton Commission, to work and also to put funds towards diversity and inclusivity.

Hamilton has urged F1 chiefs to do more to combat discrimination

“It’s not good enough just saying we are also focused on it and just pay lip service.

“We really need to push for action and that’s why I’m proud of the first step that we’ve done with the Ignite initiative.

“And that’s not the end of it — that’s just the beginning.

“I’ve got Mission 44 up and running. I’ve got a whole team of people there to really focus on it.

“I’ve got my own money in that and I’m out trying to raise money also to try and really push this forward.

“There’s a lot of great work that’s happening, but we need more and I can’t do it alone.”

World champion Verstappen, 24, yesterday broke his silence on the race row and says he supports Hamilton and is committed to fighting racism.

The Dutchman insisted Piquet, 69, was wrong to use the offensive term. However, Verstappen is adamant Piquet is not a racist.

Hamilton’s on-track rival Max Verstappen dates Pique’s daughter Kelly

He said: “Everyone is against racism. The wording which was used, even with different cultures and things they said when they were younger, was not correct.

“Let it be a lesson for the future to not use that word because it is very offensive.

“I have spent a bit of time with Nelson, more than the average person in general and he is definitely not a racist.

“He is actually a really nice relaxed guy. The statement he released, you can see the word in two ways but it is just better not to use it.

“It’s not about that word, or the N-word in general, it’s about using any offensive language to anyone of any colour is not correct.

“That is what we have to work on everywhere, not just in F1 with Lewis, but to everyone in the world.”

When asked whether he’d spoken to Piquet or was aware of his ban from F1, Verstappen added: “It is not up to me to talk to my father-in-law like any of you do.

“You are not going to call them and go ‘hey man that’s not correct’ he knows that himself.

Max Verstappen insists Nelson Piquet is not a racist

“But when you ban people you are not helping the situation. You are not talking. You have to communicate.

“Communication is important because if you ban you are not helping what you are trying to enforce. It is better to have a chat.

“These things can be easily solved. When you have a fight with someone and insult someone and you apologise it is exactly the same.

“It is not nice to the one you upset but things can be easily forgotten as long as you know the mistake you made and the wording you used.

“I don’t think you should be banned from the paddock. Especially not a three-time world champion.”

Hamilton, meanwhile, will NOT be banned from this weekend’s race for wearing his nose stud – despite incorrect reports saying the contrary.

Hamilton is adamant he will not face the axe for keeping the piercing in, although he may risk a fine.

He said: “It’s crazy to think with everything that’s going on in the world, that this is a focus for people.

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“I would say it’s worrying. We’ve got so much bigger fish to fry. We’ve got got to start focusing on other more important areas.

“I will be racing this weekend, I will be working with the FIA. I would say the matter is not particularly massively important.”