SILVERSTONE, England – Lewis Hamilton says “old voices” from Formula 1 like that of Nelson Piquet are irrelevant to what the sport wants to achieve in the future and should not be given a platform to promote discriminatory opinion.
Three-time champion Piquet has been banned from the F1 circuit after he used a racial slur to describe Hamilton in a 2021 podcast that gained media attention this week.
Hamilton said the 69-year-old Brazilian driver is part of an era and generation of F1 trying to move away.
Hamilton said on the eve of the British Grand Prix, the tournament he is looking to win the record: “I have been subjected to racism, criticism, negativity and old stories, for a long time, for a long time. and causes of discrimination. – Ninth Sunday.
“So there’s nothing really special that’s new to me. I think it’s more about the big picture. I’m not really sure, I don’t know why we continue to create the foundation for voices. older than this.
“They’re talking about our sport and we’re looking to go somewhere completely different, and I don’t think that’s representative of who we are as a sport and where we plan to go.
“If we want to grow in the United States and other countries, South Africa, while increasing our audience and looking to the future and providing young people with a platform that is more representative of the times today and who we’re trying to be and the direction we’re going. It’s not just about an individual, it’s not just about a usage of that term – it’s the bigger picture.”
Hamilton, the only black driver in F1 history, is frequently the subject of criticism in the media, with Britain’s Daily Mail regularly publishing interviews with former drivers such as Jackie Stewart and John Watson and former F1 coach Bernie Ecclestone criticize his driving, his fashion sense or his taste for music.
He then added: “These old voices…whether subconsciously or consciously… disagree that people like me should be in a sport like this, disagree women should be here.
“It’s not helpful, the comments we’ve seen from these people. I don’t think in the last few weeks, I don’t think a day goes by where there isn’t someone who doesn’t play our sport. I’ve either been involved for decades, saying negative things or trying to bring me down, but I’m still here, I’m still standing strong.”
Hamilton also urged F1 and other companies around the world to stop relying on scripted responses to examples of racism and abuse and instead respond with meaningful action.
The seven-time world champion has done this on his own, pumping millions of pounds of his own money into the Hamilton Commission, which has laid out a list of recommendations to increase diversity in the sport.
Through his charity Mission 44, he has launched an initiative called Ignite, which this week announced the first grants as an incentive to bring in low-income and ethnic minority.
“I think we live in an era where there’s been a lot of people saying they’ve been supportive over the last few years, but a lot of lip service. And we’re not doing that, we’re taking action and putting our money down. I’m where my mouth is. I’m really proud. I think we need to get people involved spontaneously and do something because we can’t do it online,” Hamilton said.
“You have to imagine that everyone’s PR agency has a script ready for something like that, crisis management. That’s not enough. Now it’s real action.”