After a whole day of endless protests on social media, vehement condemnation and utter disgust among the Formula 1 fans regarding the racial slurs that former F1 racer Nelson Piquet had used in an interview from last year while addressing Lewis Hamilton, the Brazilian F1 World Champion has issued his statement on this matter. While most of the personnel associated with F1 have already voiced their take on Piquet’s verbal abuse, the 69-year-old was still silent about everything until now.
While Formula 1 is striving to become inclusive with their own motto of #WeRaceAsOne, Nelson Piquet’s comments on Lewis Hamilton have caused huge damage to the inclusive image of the sport. In an issue that Piquet has publicly revealed for all who have been hurt by his insensitive comments towards Lewis Hamilton, the former Brazilian racer has claimed that he “apologises wholeheartedly” for using those words but he also denies ever meaning to racially abuse Lewis Hamilton.
Nelson Piquet issues statement, denies trying to racially abuse Lewis Hamilton
In the interview from last year, which was recorded after the 2021 Silverstone Grand Prix, Nelson Piquet is heard talking about Lewis Hamilton while addressing him as “neguinho”, which is Portuguese for “little Black man”. This horrible racist comment has disgusted all the fans who support Lewis Hamilton for being the only Black racer in Formula 1.
Now, in his statement, Nelson Piquet has said, “I would like to clear up the stories circulating in the media about a comment I made in an interview last year.”
He further mentioned, “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.”