Three-time world champion Nelson Piquet could find himself banned from the Formula 1 paddock unless he issues a public apology to Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Several months ago, Piquet was analysing a collision between Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen when he appeared to use a racial slur while talking about the seven-time champion.
Those comments have now resurfaced, and several members of the Formula 1 community, including the majority of the teams and F1 itself, have expressed their support for Hamilton, who called for tangible action to be taken against those who express discriminatory behaviour.
“It’s more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport,” he tweeted.
“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.”
Since then, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Mick Schumacher and Zhou Guanyu have shown their support for the 37-year-old.
“Huge respect to LH. He has done more for the sport than any driver in history, not just on track but off it,” tweeted Russell.
“The fact that he and so many others are STILL having to deal with this behaviour is unacceptable. We all need to stand together against discrimination of any kind.”
“Knowing Lewis since I arrived in Formula 1, he has always been kind and respectful to me and everyone that he meets,” Leclerc added on his Instagram story.
“Those values should be the standard towards anybody around the world.
“The comments made towards Lewis should not be tolerated, and we should continue to push for a more diverse and inclusive sport.
“We need to remove discriminatory behaviour and racist language in any form from not just our sport but from our society as well.”
“Discrimination and racism has no place in the sport or our society,” stated Ricciardo.
“Those who still choose to spread hate and use those words are no friends of mine.
“I want to acknowledge Lewis and all of the work he has done both on and off the track to not only spread messages of equality but combat hate.
“I’ve never dealt with any racially motivated actions, but he has for his entire life. Yet each time his response to the hate is motivated by maturity, positivity and educating the world on how we should act.
“I stand with him and will do whatever I can to follow and support.”
Schumacher shared a picture of Hamilton that was posted by the Mercedes account, captioning it “We stand with you Lewis Hamilton.”
Alpine driver Ocon would then also show his support for the 103-time race winner.
“All racist or discriminatory language has absolutely no part in out sport and our society. Enough is enough,” he said.
“I’ve worked and spent time with Lewis over the years and know the kind of person he is.
“Always genuine and respectful with everyone around him. He has done so much for F1, on and off track, and we are proud to have him at the forefront of our fight for further diversity and inclusion in motorsport.
“I stand with Lewis and his continued efforts to make the sport we love a better place for all.”
“I join Lewis and the motorsport community in standing against any form of racism, discrimination and prejudice,” said Zhou.
F1 journalist Philip Duncan now reports that Piquet could have his permanent paddock access denied should he fail to offer a full apology to Hamilton.