Former three-time champion Nelson Piquet has been banned indefinitely from visiting the Formula 1 paddock because he used a racial slur when speaking about Lewis Hamilton. On Thursday, Hamilton addressed this situation.
Hamilton stated that Formula 1 should stop giving "old voices" the platform to promote discriminatory ideas. It's important to note that Piquet's comments occurred on a podcast in November.
"I've been on the receiving end of racism, criticism, negativity and archaic narratives, for a long, long time, and undertones of discrimination," Hamilton said, via ESPN. "So there's nothing really particularly new for me. I think it's more about the bigger picture. I'm not really sure, I don't know why we are continuing to give these older voices a platform."
Hamilton continued: "They're speaking on our sport and we're looking to go somewhere completely different, and I don't think it's representative of who we are as a sport and where we're planning to go."
Considering how Hamilton has been treated over the past few years, this suggestion makes sense.
Piquet, meanwhile, has issued an apology. He claims his comments about Hamilton had no racist intent.
"What I said was ill thought out, and I make no defense for it, but I will clarify that the term used is one that has widely and historically been used in Brazilian Portuguese for a synonym for 'guy' or 'person' and was never intended to offend," Piquet said, via ESPN. "I would never use the word I have been accused of in some translations.
"I strongly condemn any suggestion that the word was used by me with the aim of belittling a driver because of his skin color. I apologize wholeheartedly to anyone that was affected, including Lewis, who is an incredible driver, but the translation in some media that is now circulating on social media is not correct. Discrimination has no place in F1 or society and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in that respect."
Hopefully, this is the last time Hamilton ever has to deal with discriminatory comments.