In the wake of a backlash of criticism, Nelson Piquet has come out and apologised for “ill-thought-out” comments he made last year, that went viral this week, in which he refers to seven-time Formula 1 World Champion as a “neguinho”.
Apart from the racial slur which outraged the F1 community, it also showed disdain and scant respect for Hamilton, who is the sport’s most successful driver of all time, coming from a fellow F1 World Champion with three titles to his name.
Needless, to say the Brazilian F1 legend has been under severe fire for his words including our own thoughts in today’s Inside Line on the matter.
This is Piquet’s statement:
“I would like to clear up 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 fl or society and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in that respect,” concluded the statement.