Two race rows have hit the sport of Formula One recently.
Nelson Piquet, the Brazilian former F1 driver, found himself in hot water after a recording emerged of him calling current driver, Lewis Hamilton, a racial slur in Portuguese. In an interview recorded last year, but only released this week, Piquet was heard calling Hamilton a Portuguese word that can be translated as a slur against black people. Piquet was talking about an incident between Hamilton and Dutch driver, Max Verstappen in last year’s British Grand Prix, which saw Verstappen crash his vehicle.
In a statement F1 said: ‘Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society. 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 also reacted to Piquet’s statement and said in a tweet: ‘It’s more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.’
Piquet subsequently apologised and said his words had been taken out of context.
In another incident the Red Bull F1 team has dropped reserve driver, Juri Vips, after the Estonian used racist language during a live gaming stream. Vips is still likely to compete in Formula 2, however.
Vips was quoted as saying: ‘I wish to unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today. This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles that I hold.’