Former F1 world champion Fernando Alonso is back on the circuit and preparing for this year’s British GP, which takes place on Sunday, but racing questions have had to take a back seat.
Asked by CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies how damaging Pique’s comments are to the sport, two-time world champion Alonso said: “It’s damaging and there is no place in sport for those comments. ”
F1, Hamilton’s Mercedes team and the FIA, motorsport’s governing body, condemned Piquet on Tuesday for using the racial slur.
Meanwhile Hamilton, who has the most race wins in F1 history, said “now is the time to act” on racism and responded to Piquet’s comments in a series of posts on Twitter, writing: “Vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade” — Portuguese for “Let’s focus on changing mentality.”
Piquet responded to his comments on Wednesday, which were made in November last year but only came to light when the interview was published on Monday.
He said: “What I said was poorly thought out, and I’m not defending it, but I will clarify that the term used is one that has been widely and historically used colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for ‘guy’ or ‘ nobody” and was never intended to offend.
“I would never use the word I have been accused of in some translations. I strongly condemn any suggestion that the word was used by me for the purpose of demeaning a driver because of their skin color.”
Alonso told CNN Sport that he and his Alpine team “stand with Lewis”, adding that over the past few years there has been a “big change” in his squad to make it more inclusive.
“Sport should be an example for our society,” he said. “And this week has been very sad for our sport and let’s see what the actions will be after these comments.
“I think we’ll be fine with whatever the FIA or FOM do, but I believe action is needed. If it’s just another episode, there’s no action. , I think that’s not enough. I think we need to get away from those people and that’s a perfect example.”
The 21-year-old Estonian was relieved of all team duties on June 21, and after the incident Vips apologized and admitted the language used was ‘completely unacceptable’ in a post on his account Personal Instagram.
Alonso told CNN he has seen many positive changes in the sport during his 21 years in the paddock.
“There are a lot of women working on the team now, a lot of talented designers and mechanics. And we have all kinds of people that we like to have around,” he said.
“We like to share the team with them. And it’s a sport, as I said, [that] should be an example for our world.”
return to F1
“This year I think we are a bit more competitive, so that also boosts my confidence,” said the Spaniard, who returned last year.
Alonso placed ninth at the Canadian Grand Prix last week, having made his first start from the top row in 10 years.
“It felt good,” he told CNN. “It was a very special moment because, after your return to Formula 1, it’s not that you need to prove things, but it’s a lot of dedication and sacrifices that you make to come back and be fit. for Formula. Again at 40. And when you give a good result it’s kind of [a] a relief and proof that you are working very hard to achieve these results.”
Like most athletes, Alonso hates losing, but he said his perspective changed during his second stint in the sport.
“Over time you realize in Formula 1 that you have to have the package to win. It’s not just that one day you have some weird inspiration and you deliver something magical,” he said. he declares.
“In Formula 1, there is not too much magic. You need the right car and the right day to be successful, so I try to build with Alpine this package and this car capable of winning, but I appreciate this is not a frustration, why you do not win.
“I miss winning. Yeah, of course. But luckily I had that free time in Formula 1 where I tried different categories with endurance, with the 24 hours of Le Mans, Indy Car, Dakar, Daytona, all those categories brought me victory. I felt like myself again and I was on the podium and that was enough, I think, to reset those winning needs.”
“And now I can pass [a] a few more years of trying to win Formula 1,” he added.
cnn Sport Gt