Nelson Piquet aims homophobic slur at Lewis Hamilton and calls him the N-word AGAIN as further footage of podcast interview emerges ahead of British Grand Prix
- Piquet apologised ‘wholeheartedly’ this week for using an offensive expression
- But now further concerning comments have emerged from a podcast interview
- Hamilton said: ‘Archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport’
The racism row surrounding Nelson Piquet went into another gear today as it emerged the former F1 world champion also aimed a homophobic slur at Lewis Hamilton – and called him the N-word again.
Piquet apologised ‘wholeheartedly’ earlier this week for using an offensive expression when discussing Hamilton in an interview last year, but insisted the word he used was mistranslated.
He has since been banned from the paddock, but now further offensive comments have surfaced.
Speaking on a Brazilian podcast, as reported by Sky Sports, Piquet said: ‘Keke [Rosberg] was s***. He’s worthless. His son won a championship.’
Asked whether he was referring to Nico Rosberg, he said of Hamilton: ‘The [racist term] must have been [homophobic slur] at the time. He was pretty bad.’
The interviewer and Piquet both laughed at these comments, which caused uproar in the Formula One paddock.
The racism row surrounding Nelson Piquet (pictured) went into another gear today as it emerged the former F1 world champion also aimed a homophobic slur at Lewis Hamilton
Piquet apologised ‘wholeheartedly’ earlier this week for using an offensive expression when discussion Hamilton (pictured) in an interview last year, but insisted the word he used was mistranslated
Piquet has since been banned from the paddock, but now further offensive comments have surfaced
Nelson Piquet’s (left) daughter Kelly (on right) is dating current world champion Max Verstappen (middle)
Questioning Senna’s sexuality and upsetting Mansell and his wife: Piquet’s previous controversies
Ex-racing driver Piquet has previously made a series of unpleasant comments about his fellow F1 drivers.
He publicly questioned Ayrton Senna’s sexuality in the time that they battled each other and called his rival ‘the Sao Paulo taxi driver’.
He also made offensive comments about Nigel Mansell and the Briton’s wife when they were team-mates at Williams.
The Brazilian gave an infamous interview with Playboy about his then teammate, calling Mansell an ‘uneducated blockhead’.
Piquet also resorted to derogatory insults about Mansell’s wife which he later apologised for when legal action was threatened.
Leading figures in Formula One at the British Grand Prix including Red Bull team chief Christian Horner, 2009 world champion Jenson Button and respected commentator Martin Brundle said they were ‘appalled’ and ‘disgusted’ by the latest Piquet revelations.
‘We are appalled at Nelson’s comments from an interview from some time ago,’ said Horner whose team dismissed reserve driver Estonian Juri Vips for using a similar expression earlier this week.
‘We felt that actions sometimes talk louder than words – and our action was draconian, but in line with our policy. We are fully behind Lewis, fully signed up to the Hamilton Commission.
Piquet had earlier faced a severe backlash after using the derogatory Portuguese phrase ‘neguinho’ while referring to the seven-time world champion.
He said in a statement: ‘I would like to clear up the stories circulating in the media about a comment I made in an interview last year.
‘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 colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as 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.’
Brazilian Piquet, a three-time world champion, was reported to have been discussing a collision between Hamilton and rival Max Verstappen on the opening lap at Silverstone, which saw the Dutchman retire from the race.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton posted on Twitter: ‘It’s more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport.
‘I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.’
An F1 statement read: ‘Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society. Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect.
‘His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1.’
However, world champion Max Verstappen insists Piquet is not racist and believes it is wrong to expel him from Formula One.
Verstappen, whose girlfriend Kelly Piquet is the Brazilian triple world champion’s daughter, also claimed the offensive remarks – which have overshadowed the build-up to this weekend’s British Grand Prix – have been blown out of proportion.
Piquets daughter Kelly, pictured after the Abi Dhabi Grand Prix last year, is dating Dutch driver Max Verstappen. He described the incident as a ‘joke’ on the podcast, and said that Hamilton had been ‘lucky’ that Verstappen only crashed
The Brazilian ex-racing driver had been discussing an incident between Red Bull’s Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, pictured, at the British Grand Prix last year. The pair collided on lap one of the race at Silverstone ending the Dutchman’s race
Max Verstappen has been criticised by outraged Formula One fans for defending Piquet amid his comments about Hamilton
‘Everyone is against racism and I think that’s very straight,’ said Verstappen. ‘The wording that was used was not correct.
‘But I’ve spent a bit of time with Nelson, more than the average person, and he’s definitely not a racist. He’s actually a really nice, relaxed guy.
‘It’s not about the n-word, it’s about using offensive language in general.’
Bernie Ecclestone also jumped to Piquet’s defence, telling Hamilton he should ‘brush aside’ the Brazilian’s racial slur and ‘be happy’ with his apology.
The 91-year-old mogul denied he was a racist himself – insisting ‘I’ve never met a coloured person that I’ve found I don’t like’ – as he backed Piquet in the row.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, the broadcaster told him: ‘Bernie, there is no equivalent between somebody calling a black person the N word and saying that you are undersized – there is no equivalent, you must see that?’
Ecclestone replied: ‘It’s terribly rude to say somebody undersized or a fat person. If, for example, they’re black and they’re saying your fat, I suppose it’s the same sort of thing.’
Asked for a response to Hamilton’s comments that people like him shouldn’t have a platform, he said: ‘Complete load of rubbish. Because if he’s referring to me, he should think a little bit. His father and myself had talked about going into business for a while. I’m not racist, quite the opposite to be honest. His comments are crazy.’
Ecclestone discovered Piquet, the son of a prominent Brazilian politician, more than 40 years ago, when he would sneak him onto the track in the boot of his car.
Looking back on how he helped shape him into the champion he became, Ecclestone said in a 2020 interview that Brazilian Piquet was ‘special’, and a ‘super competitor’ who ‘wanted to win.’
Ecclestone’s wife, Fabiana, 45, is also Brazilian. They met in 2009 when she was in the marketing department for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
She was elected vice-president of the motoring governing body FIA last year, covering the South American region, which raised eyebrows among industry leaders.