Hamilton: "Real action" needed to stop giving "older voices" a platform

Lewis Hamilton has called on the Formula 1 community to take “real action” and stop giving “older voices” a platform after facing racial abuse from Nelson Piquet.

Hamilton: "Real action" needed to stop giving "older voices" a platform

An interview conducted last year with three-time world champion Piquet emerged this week, in which he used a racial slur in reference to Hamilton, resulting in condemnation from the F1 community and a ban from the paddock.

Piquet apologised to Hamilton, but denied his comment had any racial intent and disputed the way in which it was translated.

Hamilton appeared in Thursday’s FIA press conference ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, speaking publicly for the first time about the matter, and gave his thanks for the support he had been shown.

“I’ve been on the receiving end of racism and criticism, and that negativity and archaic narratives for a long, long time, and undertones of discrimination,” Hamilton said.

“So there’s nothing really particularly new for me. I think it’s more about the bigger picture.

“I don’t really know why we are continuing to give these older voices a platform. Because they’re speaking upon our sport, and we’re looking to go somewhere completely different and it’s not representative of who we are as a sport now and where we’re planning to go.

“We're looking to grow in the US and other countries, South Africa, and we need to be looking to the future and giving the younger people a platform that are more representative of today’s time, and who we are trying to be in the direction that we’re going.

“It’s not just about one individual, it’s not just about one use of that term. It’s the bigger picture.”

Photographers and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Photographers and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Both the FIA and F1 issued statements condemning Piquet’s comments, a stance echoed by a number of teams in a show of solidarity with Hamilton.

But Hamilton said the “knee-jerk reaction” of condemning racism was “not enough”, adding: “Now it’s about actual real action. We’ve got to actually start acting.

“It just comes back down to F1, to the media, we should not be giving these people a platform. These old voices, whether they’re subconscious or consciously do not agree that people like me should be in a sport like this, whether women should be here.

“Discrimination is not something we should be projecting and promoting, and giving a platform to create and divide people.

“The last couple of weeks, I don't think there’s been a day go by where there’s been someone who has not been relevant in our sport for decades, trying to say negative things and starting to bring me down.

“But I’m still here and still standing strong.”

Read Also:

Since the last race in Canada, Hamilton also faced criticism from Sir Jackie Stewart, who questioned whether the Mercedes driver should continue in the series, and from Bernie Ecclestone, F1’s former ringmaster.

Hamilton stressed the need for accountability from teams and companies in F1 to “take a stand” and focus on inclusivity in the future, taking action through schemes to improve diversity within the series.

“It’s all well and good standing on the grid and talking about inclusivity,” Hamilton said. “But they’re just empty words if we’re not actually putting action in.

“This is a growing business. Teams are making more money than they’ve ever made before, and they’ll continue to grow in doing so. I’m not aware of all the other funds that have been put towards D&I [diversity and inclusion]. I’ll be willing to bet it’s not as much as we’ve already put in and are planning to put in.

“I’ve been on calls with all the F1 teams who have agreed to be part of this F1 charter and they have still not signed, and it’s still not under way.

“No more can we be amplifying these voices that are just creating that divide out there.”

shares
comments
Vettel to drive Mansell’s Williams FW14B at Silverstone using carbon-neutral fuel
Previous article

Vettel to drive Mansell’s Williams FW14B at Silverstone using carbon-neutral fuel

Next article

Haas F1 plans FIA talks over Magnussen front wing flag call

Haas F1 plans FIA talks over Magnussen front wing flag call
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom Plus

How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom

The young Ken Tyrrell was barely 
aware of motor racing – until a trip with 
his village football team to the British
 Grand Prix set him on the road to
 becoming a Formula 1 constructor. MAURICE HAMILTON details the humble beginning of Tyrrell and how Ken linked up with Jackie Stewart…

Formula 1
Sep 19, 2022