Lewis 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.

Lewis Hamilton: "Real action" needed to stop giving "older voices" a platform
Listen to this article

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

Related video

What's changed with F1's new rear wing deflection tests
Previous article

What's changed with F1's new rear wing deflection tests

Next article

Russell expects Mercedes to match Red Bull, Ferrari at Silverstone

Russell expects Mercedes to match Red Bull, Ferrari at Silverstone
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in Singapore Prime

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in Singapore

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Prime

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Prime

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Prime

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Prime

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains Ben Edwards, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car.

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Prime

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Prime

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

Stuart Codling charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022