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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton on Piquet comments: Why do we give these guys a platform?

Lewis Hamilton has suggested that some "older voices" are no longer "representative" of the direction that Formula 1 wants to go in, following Nelson Piquet's use of a racial slur when speaking about the seven-time World Champion.

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Lewis Hamilton has questioned why some "older voices" in Formula 1 are being given a platform following the use of a racial slur by Nelson Piquet.

Piquet was widely condemned by many in the F1 world after making the remark about Hamilton when discussing the collision between the seven-time World Champion and Red Bull's Max Verstappen that occurred at the 2021 British Grand Prix.

The former driver has since issued a statement claiming that he had not intended any racial motivation behind the Brazilian-Portuguese term.

Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Hamilton was asked how he felt about Piquet's apology.

"Firstly, I'm incredibly grateful to all those that have been supportive within the sport, particularly the drivers," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"It's been two years since many of us took the knee at the first race in Austria and, of course, we are still faced with the challenges.

"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, so there's nothing really particularly new for me."

Hamilton reflects on "bigger picture"

Hamilton believes that some comments made by those of an older generation are no longer representative of the direction that the sport wants to move in.

"I think it's more about the bigger picture," the Mercedes driver continued.

"I don't 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, I think, of who we are as a sport now and where we're planning to go.

"If we're looking to grow in the US and other countries, in South Africa, and grow our audience, we need to look into the future and give the younger people a platform, that will be more representative.

"It's not just about one individual. It's not about just that one use of that term. It's the bigger picture."

"I've always tried to take the high road"

Hamilton was further quizzed on whether he still had respect for some of the older generation who have recently made remarks about him; as well as Piquet, Bernie Ecclestone and Jackie Stewart have both commented on the Briton in recent weeks.

"I've always tried to take the high road," Hamilton explained.

"I've always tried to be respectful to these individuals. And again – I think it ties back to what I was saying before – why do we give these guys a platform?

"They're not with the times, not willing to change, and these undertones of discrimination and microaggressions are just, in today's world, not helpful. It's creating more divide.

"I love how Michelle Obama says, 'When they go low, we go high'. So I try to continue to do that. [I'm] inspired by people like that.

"I'm still here, it's not going to deter me from doing what I think is right and in doing what I love, which is working in this sport."

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