Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton may be rivals when on the racetrack, but when it comes to defending his fellow Formula 1 driver against the racial slurs from a former racer, Leclerc is quick to defend the Mercedes man, taking to his twitter account to slam the words spoken by Nelson Piquet.
"Knowing Lewis since I arrived in Formula 1, he has always been extremely respectful to me and everyone that he meets," Leclerc wrote on Twitter. "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 our society as well."
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Widespread reactions to racial slur
As reported yesterday, Piquet referred to Hamilton as “the neguinho” on two occasions when referring to the accident between the Mercedes and the Red Bull of his daughter’s boyfriend, Max Verstappen, in last year’s British Grand Prix.
Verstappen was taken to hospital because of the incident, with Hamilton given a ten second penalty before going on to win the event.
While the interview that contained the racial slur was conducted last November, it was only broadcasted this week in the build-up to the British Grand Prix and has caused widespread reactions.
He has done more for the sport than any driver in history
"Huge respect to LH. He has done more for the sport than any driver in history, not just on track but off it. 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,” added Hamilton’s teammate George Russell.
Apart from fellow drivers, teams and the FIA themselves reacting to the comments it has also received reactions from other sports personalities…
"There is no place for racism in any sport, industry or walk of life. Lewis, continue to shine the great light that you do. I stand with you," Manchester United defender Raphael Varane said on Twitter.
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