August 16, 2022

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has responded to comments from three-time champion Nelson Piquet that surfaced ahead of the 2022 British Grand Prix, and said he was “incredibly grateful” for the support from the F1 community – like d Other drivers including Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel weighed in with words of support Thursday at Silverstone.

Comments made by Piquet after last year’s controversial British Grand Prix surfaced ahead of this year’s race at Silverstone, with the Brazilian’s remarks coming under heavy criticism for using an alleged racial slur. On Thursday, Hamilton gave his reaction in person at the drivers’ press conference.

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“Well, first of all, I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported the sport, especially the drivers,” said the Mercedes driver. “You know, it’s been two years since many of us took the knee in the first race in Austria and of course we still face challenges.

“I’ve been the victim of racism, criticism, negativity and archaic narratives for a long, long time, and shades of discrimination. So that’s nothing particularly new to me. I think it’s more about the big picture… it’s not just about an individual, it’s not just about a use of that term – it’s the big picture.

Vettel: “I think it was great to see there was so much response from the whole F1 community and so quickly people responded and expressed their support for Lewis.”

Piquet issued a statement on Wednesday in which he apologized to Hamilton, while calling his comments “ill thought out”, and adding that he “never intended to offend” – because Hamilton also took to social media to criticize “archaic mentalities”. The other drivers were asked about their reactions on Thursday.

Reigning champion Verstappen said: “In general, all over the world, it’s not just in Formula 1, I think it’s not correct to use these words, but it already starts with education. . Nowadays, from an early age, at home, at school, we need to learn these kinds of things that cannot be said, or used in general, and that is what we are working on. . And of course F1, with Lewis too, is working on that for the future and all the drivers are behind that. We all support that.

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Sebastian Vettel, four-time champion, said: “That’s probably what [Lewis] went through and his family went through his whole life. Any form of abuse is bad, so I think it was great to see there was so much response from the whole F1 community and so quickly people responded and expressed their support for Lewis.

“We have the ‘We Race As One’ campaign; it is very clear where we are going and where we want to go in the future… Any community is welcome and we must always respond in this way very quickly and make it clear that we are open to everyone, because kindness matters, people matter, and like I said, it was bad to see what was going on.


Alonso: “Certainly, there is no room for this type of commentary and I think the reaction from the whole community has been quite significant.”

McLaren’s Lando Norris agreed, echoing Vettel’s comments and adding: “Although we are Formula 1 drivers and that’s what we love and want to do the most, we always want to make things better in the world. and we want to create changes and always good ones.” , and that underlines that we still have to keep doing it. And although we work on different areas and on different things – climate change or whatever – there is the simplest and most obvious [issues] who need our continued support and our voices to talk about it openly.

Two-time Alpine champion Fernando Alonso – Hamilton’s former team-mate at McLaren – added: “Certainly there is no place for this type of comment and I think the reaction from the whole community has been quite important. If it is necessary to act, I think we will count on the support – which the FIA ​​and the FOM are doing.

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“The most important thing for us drivers is to show support for Lewis and we’re on his side.”

The Hamilton and Mercedes ‘Ignite’ foundation announced its first two charitable grants on Thursday, with the foundation set to work with Motorsport UK and FIA Girls on Track UK to increase female representation in motorsport.

‘Ignite’ will also support the Royal Academy of Engineering, establishing a motorsport scholarship scheme for at least 10 black students – while a limited-edition IWC Schaffhausen watch by Toto Wolff is set to be auctioned by Bonhams , with all profits going to charity.