Formula One has slammed three-time world champion Nelson Piquet for using a racial slur to describe Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Piquet, 69, used the N-word while referring to the seven-time world champion on a Brazilian podcast.
The former driver, who won the world title in 1981, 83 and 87, had been discussing the accident between Hamilton and Max Verstappen on the first lap of last year’s British Grand Prix.
When asked about the crash by Brazilian publication Estadao back in November, Piquet twice used a racist term, which is Brazilian slang for the N-word.
He suggested that Hamilton pushed Verstappen off the track on purpose, ending his race, and used the word to describe the British driver.
In a video released on Monday, Piquet said: ‘The n******* put the car in the wrong way and didn’t let [the other driver swerve].
‘The n******* put the car in the wrong way on the corner, it’s because you don’t know the curve.
‘It’s a very high curve, there is no way to pass two cars and there’s no way you can put the car aside.
‘He did [Verstappen] dirty. His luck was that only the other one was gone.’
Brazilian Piquet described the incident as a ‘joke’ on the podcast, and said that Hamilton had been ‘lucky’ that Verstappen only crashed.
Formula One chiefs today slammed the former Brazilian champion for making the comments during an interview.
In a statement they said: ‘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.
Nelson Piquet has been blasted by Formula One bosses after the comments came to light. He had been speaking on a Brazilian podcast about an incident between Max Verstappen and the seven-time world champion
Sir Lewis Hamilton has been a huge advocate against racism, and has been part of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. Piquet, 69, used the racially abusive slur while referring to the seven-time world champion
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
Lewis, pictured in Malibu on Sunday, was pictured catching some waves ahead of the British Grand Prix this weekend. F1 described him as a ‘true champion of diversity on and off track’ in their statement condemning Piquet
‘His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1.’
Hamilton has hit back at Piquet’s racial slur, writing ‘Imagine’ next to a tweet which said ‘what if Lewis Hamilton just tweeted “Who the f*** is Nelson Piquet?” then closed twitter’.
Responding to the racist comments, Hamilton said: ‘It’s more than language. These are 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.’
He also posted a message in Portuguese, Piquet’s native language, which translates to ‘let’s focus on changing the mindset.’
The opening lap ended abruptly for the Red Bull driver, 24, after colliding with his championship rival at Silverstone’s notorious Copse corner.
Mercedes driver Hamilton, 37, was handed a ten-second penalty for the incident, but went on to win the race and cut his points deficit to Verstappen.
Verstappen was sent crashing into the barriers at the side of the track at a force of 52G and needed to be taken to a nearby hospital for precautionary checks.
This weekend’s British Grand Prix marks a year since the heated incident, which was one in a series between the two championship rivals as they fought for last year’s world title.
The championship battle ended in controversy during the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which saw Verstappen win his first world title on the last lap of the race.
Piquet used the racial slur while expressing his opinion that Hamilton had made a mistake by crashing into the Dutch driver, and ending his race.
In a statement Mercedes said: ‘We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind.
‘Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off track.
The seven-time world champion has previously clashed with ex-F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone over ‘ignorant’ comments. Ecclestone previously said he would ban Formula One drivers taking a knee before races and would stop them wearing anti-racism t-shirts on the podium
Mercedes have raced in black for the past two seasons as ‘a stand against racism and discrimination in all forms’. Sir Lewis has been a huge backer to get more diversity across the sport
Ecclestone, 91, has insisted Hamilton ‘misunderstood’ his view but he is ‘entitled to his opinion’ on the need for increased opportunities in the sport. He added that he believes Hamilton is ‘being used’ by the Black Lives Matter movement
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
‘Together, we share a vision for a diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underlines the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future.’
Mercedes have raced in black for the past two seasons as ‘a stand against racism and discrimination in all forms and a public pledge to further improve the diversity of our team and our sport.’
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) added: ‘The FIA strongly condemns any racist or discriminatory language and behaviour, which have no place in sport or wider society.
‘We express our solidarity with Lewis Hamilton and fully support his commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in motor sport.’
Piquet, whose daughter Kelly Piquet is dating Verstappen, has previously made a series of unpleasant statements about other racing drivers.
During his racing career he publicly questioned Ayrton Senna’s sexuality 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.
It is not the first time that Hamilton has been targeted with racial abuse, and previously clashing with ex-F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone over his ‘ignorant’ comments.
Piquet, pictured with Frank Williams, made offensive comments about Nigel Mansell and the Briton’s wife when they were team-mates at Williams
Ecclestone said he was ‘surprised’ Hamilton was concerned by racial abuse he suffered in his career, before saying ‘black people are more racist than white people’. Hamilton revealed the racial abuse he had received in his career, including an incident in Spain in 2008 where fans taunted him in blackface
Piquet, whose daughter Kelly, pictured, is dating Verstappen, has previously made a series of unpleasant statements about other racing drivers during his career
Ecclestone, 91, has insisted Hamilton ‘misunderstood’ his view but he is ‘entitled to his opinion’ on the need for increased opportunities.
He previously said he would ban Formula One drivers taking a knee before races and would stop them wearing anti-racism t-shirts on the podium.
The motorsport mogul took aim at the politicisation of the sport last year, claiming Formula One is not racist and that he believes Hamilton is ‘being used’ by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ecclestone said he was ‘surprised’ Hamilton was concerned by racial abuse he suffered in his career, before saying ‘black people are more racist than white people’.
After their public spat on social media, Ecclestone said Formula 1 is ‘open to anyone’ regardless of race or religion.
Hamilton revealed the racial abuse he had received in his career, including an incident in Spain in 2008 where fans taunted him in blackface.