Lewis Hamilton has called for more action to be taken in the wake of him being called a racist slur by Nelson Piquet on a Brazilian podcast.
Piquet, who won the World Championship in 1981, 1983 and 1987, used a racist slur to address Hamilton when expressing his views on last year’s controversial opening lap incident at Copse that sent Max Verstappen into the wall.
Shortly after the comments went viral, Piquet apologised, saying his remarks were misinterpreted but nevertheless, the Brazilian's lifetime paddock pass looks set to be revoked, with the BRDC this evening suspending Piquet’s honorary membership.
Piquet’s former boss Bernie Ecclestone added further insult to injury by defending ally Vladimir Putin and his former driver on Good Morning Britain, much to the disgust of Hamilton. During the FIA press conference of which MotorLAT was in attendance, Hamilton questioned as to why voices such as Ecclestone were given a platform.
“I don't know why we are continuing to give these older voices a platform. Because they're speaking on our sport, and we're looking to go somewhere completely different, and it's not representative, I think, of who we are as a sport now and where are we planning to go? If we're looking to be to grow in the US and other countries, South Africa and grow our audience, we need to be looking to the future and giving the younger people a platform that is more representative of today's time.”
“To hear from someone that ultimately believes in the war, the displacement of millions of people, in the killing of thousands of people, the person that's doing that, they support them? I mean, that's beyond me. And I can't believe that's what I heard today. And ultimately, it's disappointing.”
On the track, Mercedes are currently in the midst of their longest winless streak for ten years, but there are signs of an upsurge in fortunes from the Brackley-based team after Hamilton finished a strong third in Montreal ahead of teammate George Russell.
With a new upgrade package for this weekend, there are hopes that Hamilton can take an unprecedented ninth Britsh Grand Prix victory and potentially kick start a late championship run.
“It is always nice having upgrades. The amount of incredible work that goes on in the background is quite overwhelming. And it's phenomenal to see just everyone with their heads down staying focused and delivering. And it's always a big push to bring these components to a race, particularly under the circumstances we're all faced with this year, in terms of the cost cap, for example.”
“So I'm very proud of everyone, very grateful for everyone's incredible hard work, and I hope that it reflects when we put it on the track, because earlier on in the year, for example, we did put an upgrade on and weren't able to extract it all. So I hope that that's different this time.”