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Lewis Hamilton has condemned three-time Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet for using a racially abusive term about him in an interview.
The 69-year-old Brazilian used the derogatory term in a podcast in Portuguese following last year’s British Grand Prix, when title rivals Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided on the first lap at Silverstone. The podcast came to light this week.
Piquet, who is the father of Verstappen’s girlfriend, Kelly, used a racist term about Hamilton while accusing him of mishandling his car into the first corner. Piquet added Hamilton was “lucky” to continue in the race.
The seven-time world champion said on Twitter on Tuesday: “It’s more than language. 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.”
He also tweeted in Portuguese: “Let’s focus on changing the mindset.”
On Tuesday, F1 also condemned the term used by Piquet in a statement that read: “Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society. Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect.
“His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1.”
Additionally, Hamilton’s team, Mercedes, issued a statement: “We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind. Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off track.
“Together, we share a vision for a diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underlines the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future.”
AlphaTauri confirm Pierre Gasly will remain for 2023
AlphaTauri has ended any lingering doubts about Pierre Gasly’s future by confirming on Friday the French driver will stay with the team for 2023.
The news means Gasly remains contracted to the Red Bull programme but driving for its junior team, where he memorably won the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.
AlphaTauri has helped Gasly revive his career after a short-lived stint at Red Bull in 2018.
Sergio Perez’s newly-signed Red Bull extension has blocked off Gasly’s path back to the top team until at least 2025, but the French driver was seen as being a major part of the driver market if he could get himself free of his current ties.
Ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, team boss Franz Tost said it was “100%” certain Gasly would remain with the team next year, although there was no official communication from the team saying so and the Frenchman had never explicitly said he was staying.
That confirmation came Friday, with Gasly saying: “I have been with this team for five years now and I am proud of the journey we’ve been through together and the progress we have made. I’m happy to remain with my Scuderia AlphaTauri team. This year’s new regulations have created new challenges for us and being able to plan our development with the team for the next 18 months is a good working basis for the future.”
Tost added that the Gasly “is definitely in the group of the best and most competitive drivers in F1 and has proven his abilities during all the time he has spent with us.”
The 2023 driver market could be one of the quietest in years.
Reigning F2 champion Oscar Piastri has been tipped to replace Nicholas Latifi at Williams next year. Sebastian Vettel could create a major opening if he decided to retire, but the Aston Martin driver has given no indication that he is seriously thinking about walking away.
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso is also yet to sign a new deal for 2023. Were he to leave, Alpine junior Piastri would likely take his seat instead.
F1 will have synthetic fuel by 2026
Formula One plans to introduce a sustainable fuel in 2026 as part of its pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030.
The synthetic fuel will be introduced in line with the sport’s next iteration of hybrid engines, which will make their debut the same year.
F1 hopes the fuel will be used in standard internal combustion engines and be rolled out across the car industry.
According to the BBC, only 1% of the worlds cars were hybrid or electric in 2020 and F1 wants to be a force to increase that number in future years.
It has also made several other steps towards its carbon neutral pledge, including remote broadcast operations to reduce freight.
Last year’s British Grand Prix was the first carbon-neutral broadcast production and F1 plans to deliver the same again at Silverstone this week.
F1 has also redesigned its freight containers so more efficient aircraft can be used to take them around the world.