Ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, audio from an interview conducted in November with Nelson Piquet surfaced in which the three-time F1 world champion made a racially abusive remark about Hamilton. 

In the past week, Hamilton has faced calls to resign from Jackie Stewart and ex-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who also claimed Hamilton “should be happy” with Piquet’s subsequent apology during an interview with Good Morning Britain on Thursday.

F1 and several drivers have supported Hamilton and condemned the comments made by Piquet, who is understood to have been banned from the F1 paddock. On Thursday, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) announced they have suspended Piquet's honorary membership with immediate effect. 

"I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported me within the sport, particularly the drivers,” said the seven-time world champion when addressing the abuse he faced during Thursday’s press conferences at Silverstone

"It has been two years since we first took a knee in Austria. We are still faced by challenges. I've been on the receiving end of racism and criticism and negativity in archaic narratives for a long, long time.

"So there's nothing really particularly new for me. I think it's more about the bigger picture.

"Why do we give these older voices a platform?

"It is not representative of our sport and where we are. We are looking to grow - in the US and in South Africa.

"We are looking to the future to give younger people a platform who are more representative.

"This isn't about one individual or one use of that term.”

Hamilton again underlined that action, rather than statements, are required to tackle the issue. 

“There is a knee-jerk reaction from companies around the world,” he said. “They probably all already have a script ready for that crisis management. It is not enough. Is now about action.

“People who are not relevant in the sport for years are trying to bring me down but I am still here.

"Whether it is conscious or subconscious that they don't believe people like me should be in motorsport. We need, more than ever, we need people to come together.

"It is not helpful - these comments from Piquet.

"They are not really in the sport. They haven't been relevant for decades. But I'm still here, standing strong, pushing for diversity.” 

Asked if he still respects F1’s older generation, Hamilton replied: “I have always tried to take the higher road and be respectful.

"It ties back to - why do we give them a platform?

"They are not with the times. They are not willing to change.

“Micro-aggression in today's world is not healthy.”

Hamilton ‘will race’ regardless of jewellery stance 

Hamilton was adamant he will contest his home grand prix despite uncertainty about the FIA’s stance over drivers wearing jewellery in their cars. 

The exemption to allow for more time for the drivers to discuss the matter with the FIA and F1’s medical team expired ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, but no update has been provided on the matter. 

Race director Niels Wittich did not include any note regarding jewellery in the first version of his pre-race Event Notes, which were issued on Thursday. 

"With all due respect, it is crazy to think that with everything going on in the world, this is the focus,” Hamilton said when asked about the jewellery row. 

"We have bigger fish to fry. We really have to start focusing on more important areas.

"I will race this weekend. I will work with the FIA. The matter is not massive."