Three-time Formula One World Champion Nelson Piquet has come under immense scrutiny recently. This week, a Brazilian interview from last year came to light in which the 69-year-old twice referred to 7-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton in a racially derogatory manner.
The entire F1 paddock strongly condemned it, with Hamilton personally urging “action” and stating that “archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport.” Since then, Piquet has apologised to Hamilton and cleared up that he didn’t mean what he said in a racist manner.
Zhou Guanyu has been a similar victim of racism
Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu who accompanied the Mercedes driver in the pre-race conference today has now shared his experience with racism on the grid. The Chinese driver became a part of the grid this season after being given a chance by Alfa Romeo to be one of their works drivers.
“We are trying to help the world going forwards, to set an example for the next generation. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what job you do,” mentioned Guanyu in reference to the changes drivers like him are trying to bring about in the motorsport.
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The Chinese driver also added how he experienced “quite a lot of negativity, racist comments, which never should happen” on social media when news broke out of him being the first Chinese F1 driver.