Aidan Louw, an ex-contractor at Aston Martin Racing who received racist and homophobic abuse from other employees, was fired for poor performance earlier in the year, the Silverstone-based team has revealed.
In an interview with Sky Sports, the 25-year-old revealed that the abuse began immediately after he joined Aston Martin in February while working as a contractor at a supplier agency.
Louw said that one of the perpetrators warned him against getting offended by any of the language they used, saying “it’s just how we speak.”
“Before I even walked into my working environment that’s when I was told, ‘look if you’ve got a problem with how we speak here, it’s just how we speak’.”
Continuing, he said: “I wasn’t referred to as Aidy…or anything like that. I was called [racially offensive slurs] – that is what I was referred to.
“It was towards the end of the duration that I had finally processed what was happening.”
He went on to reveal that, after he told another worker that he had a boyfriend while he was a teen, he also started to receive homophobic abuse.
“I disclosed to someone that I had a boyfriend in my teen years and that was it – in that split second everything switched…
“As soon as they found out about that sliver of information that was it, they were trying to claw me down to break me down as a man, as an individual and a human.”
Aston Martin responded by emphasising that Louw’s contract was terminated due to “poor performance” and “poor timekeeping.”
They also stressed that they have a “zero-tolerance policy” for all types of discrimination.
“AMR and its supplier operate a zero-tolerance policy with regard to racism, homophobia and all types of discrimination,” the Silverstone-based team said in a statement.
“We deal with any allegations of this unacceptable behaviour seriously, including thoroughly investigating such claims and sanctioning any individual who falls short of our standards.
“In this case, the complainant was rightly believed, his complaints were immediately acted upon and appropriate sanctions were imposed in line with our zero-tolerance policy.
“We are in ongoing discussions with him,” they added.
This development comes hot on the heels of Nelson Piquet being criticised and facing civil action in Brazil for calling Sir Lewis Hamilton the n-word in a recently surfaced interview which took place in late 2021.