- • Previously worked in rugby union and British Superbikes
• History graduate from Reading University
• Joined ESPNF1 in February 2014
Nelson Piquet has apologised for a racial slur he used to describe Lewis Hamilton and said the word he used has been taken out of the context he intended.
A Formula One source told ESPN Piquet, a three-time world champion, has been banned indefinitely from visiting the F1 paddock in future as punishment for the comments.
The 69-year-old, used a racial slur about Hamilton while blaming him for his collision with Max Verstappen, boyfriend of Piquet’s daughter Kelly, at last year’s British Grand Prix. The comments were made in Portuguese on a podcast last November, but only came to light this week.
Hamilton tweeted in response to it on Tuesday, saying “these archaic mindsets need to change”, while F1, several teams and drivers all issued statements in support of the British driver and condemning racism.
On Wednesday Piquet, a three-time F1 champion, issued a statement of apology and claimed the word does not have a racial connotation in Brazil.
“I would like to clear the stories circulating in the media about a comment I made in an interview last year,” Piquet said.
“What I said was ill thought out, and I make no defence for it, but I will clarify that the term used is one that has widely and historically been used in Brazilian Portuguese for a synonym for ‘guy’ or ‘person’ 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 with the aim of belittling a driver because of his skin colour. I apologise wholeheartedly to anyone that was affected, including Lewis, who is an incredible driver, but the translation in some media that is now circulating on social media is not correct. Discrimination has no place in F1 or society and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in that respect.”
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