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"Stop Giving Older Voices A Platform" Urges Lewis Hamilton After Racist Abuse

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"Stop Giving Older Voices A Platform" Urges  Lewis Hamilton After Racist Abuse

Lewis Hamilton has called on Formula One to stop giving older voices in the sport a platform, following controversial comments from Nelson Piquet and Bernie Ecclestone.

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It's not been an easy year for Hamilton. Following the controversial end to last season, where he missed out on a record breaking eighth world title, he has had to contend with a poor car and plenty of controversy off the track.

A race marshal was removed from the Saudi Grand Prix for a social media post hoping the driver would crash and his former team McLaren investigated an employee for social media posts abusing the Mercedes driver.

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There has also been seemingly endless criticism from older voices in the sport, such as Ecclestone, and this week remarks from three time world champion Piquet from November revealed the Brazilian using the N word to describe the British driver.

Now Hamilton has hit back at them, and Sir Jackie Stewart, who said the 37-year-old should retire, saying the sport should move on from them and stop giving them a platform.

"I don't know why we are continuing to give these older voices a platform," the seven time drivers' world champion said ahead of the weekend's British Grand Prix.

Hamilton talking to Ecclestone in 2015. Image: Alamy
Hamilton talking to Ecclestone in 2015. Image: Alamy
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"They are speaking for our sport, but we are looking to go somewhere different and they are not representative of who we are now and where we are planning to go.

"If we are looking to grow our audiences in the US and South Africa we need to be giving the younger people a platform. They are more representative of today's time and who we are trying to be. It is not just about one individual, or the use of that term, but the bigger picture.

"These older voices, subconsciously or consciously, do not agree people like me should be in this sport. Discrimination should not be projected.

"I don't think in the last couple of weeks a day has gone by where some of the older people who are not in our sport or have not been relevant in our sport for decades have tried to say negative things and bring me down, but I am still here and still standing strong and trying to do my work and pushing diversity."

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Ecclestone with Putin. Image: Alamy
Ecclestone with Putin. Image: Alamy

Ecclestone's criticism of Hamilton in particular seems to have been constant but now the 91-year-old is in the headlines for a different type of controversy.

The former CEO of F1 said that he would 'take a bullet' for Russian president Vladimir Putin, whilst talking on British television, and defended Russia's invasion on Ukraine.

He went as far as claiming that if Ukraine wanted to 'get out of it properly, [it] could have done.'

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In an interview in 2009, the 5"4 former boss of Formula One had claimed that Adolf Hitler was a man who was "was able to get things done."

He also claimed that then FIA president Max Mosley would make a good Prime Minister and dismissed his father, Sir Oswald Mosley, previous leadership of the British Union of Fascists would have any affect.

Former F1 world champion Piquet used the n word to describe Hamilton. Image: Alamy
Former F1 world champion Piquet used the n word to describe Hamilton. Image: Alamy

Hamilton criticised Ecclestone's comments about Vladimir Putin on Good Morning Britain. "There needs to be some accountability," the Mercedes driver said in his press conference,

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"You know what you are going to get with that and I don't know what GMB's goal is, if they were seeking to create and divide here in the UK.

"We don't need any more of it, to hear from someone that believes in the war, and the displacement of millions of people and killing of thousands people, and supports that person [Putin] who is doing that.

"It is beyond me. I cannot believe I heard that today. It is affecting all those people out there and all people around the world. This is going to put us back decades, and we have yet to see the real brunt of the pain."

If those are going to be Ecclestone's comments then you have to wonder why any one is giving him the platform to give them, he is only relevant because he's willing to give outlandish statements to remain relevant.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1

Ryan Sidle
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