Nelson Piquet ‘Wholeheartedly’ Apologises for Racist Slur In direction of Lewis Hamilton
Three-time Method One world champion Nelson Piquet on Wednesday apologised “wholeheartedly” to Lewis Hamilton after utilizing a racially offensive time period to explain the Mercedes star.
Hamilton stated the “time has come for motion” following Piquet’s remarks, whereas Method One and motorsport’s governing physique the FIA condemned the 69-year-old Brazilian.
“I apologise wholeheartedly to anybody that was affected, together with Lewis, who’s an unbelievable driver, however the translation in some media that’s now circulating on social media isn’t right,” Piquet stated in an announcement.
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Piquet, who gained the world title in 1981, 1983 and 1987, was discussing an accident between Hamilton and Pink Bull’s Max Verstappen on the primary lap of final yr’s British Grand Prix when he used the time period.
His daughter, Kelly, is Verstappen’s associate.
“What I stated was in poor health thought out, and I make no defence for it, however I’ll make clear that the time period used is one which has extensively and traditionally been used colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for ‘man’ or ‘particular person’ and was by no means meant to offend,” stated Piquet.
“I might by no means use the phrase I’ve been accused of in some translations. I strongly condemn any suggestion that the phrase was utilized by me with the purpose of belittling a driver due to his pores and skin color.”
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Piquet is a supporter of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, and was a chauffeur to him on the nation’s Independence Day final yr.
Hamilton, the one black driver on the grid, has been an outspoken campaigner for larger variety within the sport.
The seven-time world champion commonly displayed “Black Lives Matter” on his attire and took the knee earlier than races within the 2020 season following the homicide of George Floyd within the US.
Hamilton has additionally campaigned for LGBTQ+ rights and on environmental points.