Lewis Hamilton Called N-Word by Nelson Piquet, Calls for Change

Lewis Hamilton has again been subjected to racial abuse, this time from a former Formula One champion.

Three-time F1 champion Nelson Piquet described Lewis Hamilton as a “little [N-word]” in Portuguese, according to Lucas Schroeder of CNN Brazil

According to the report, Piquet made the statement on a podcast in November but was only discovered recently. The former F1 driver was discussing an incident between Hamilton and Max Verstappen during the 2021 Great Britain Grand Prix at Silverstone. 

CNN Brazil transcribed the key passage from the podcast, Motorsports Talk.

“The little [N-word] put the car in and left because there was no way to pass two cars on that corner. He made a joke. Lucky for him, only the other one [Verstappen] got fucked up,” Piquet said, according to CNN Brazil via Google Translate.

According to Sky Sports, Piquet used the term a second time during the podcast: “He wanted to take [Verstappen] out no matter the cost. The [N-word] left the car there to hit him.”

Piquet’s daughter, Kelly Piquet, is dating Verstappen, Hamilton’s chief rival. 

Max Verstappen and Kelly Piquet.

Max Verstappen and Kelly Piquet.

MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday, Hamilton, the only Black driver in F1, released a statement calling for action and noting that these comments are nothing new. 

“It’s more than language,” Hamilton wrote on Twitter. “These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. 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.”

Nelson Piquet and Niki Lauda.

Nelson Piquet (left) with former F1 champion Niki Lauda in 2015.

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Hamilton has been an outspoken proponent of more diversity and inclusion across all walks of life, especially in motorsports. Hamilton and his Mercedes team started a diversity initiative after he was jarred at how little diversity there was in a team photo following his 2019 championship. 

After Hamilton’s initial tweet, he also wrote one in Portuguese that translates to: “Let’s focus on changing the mentality.”


Earlier this month, Hamilton was given honorary Brazilian citizenship by the country’s congress.

F1’s governing body and the Mercedes F1 team released statements condemning the comments from Piquet. 




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