Nelson Piquet has apologized to “anyone that was affected, including Lewis” by his racial slur, but says he would “never use the word I have been accused of in some translations”.
After an audio clip of three-time Formula 1 champion Nelson Piquet using a racial slur when referring to Lewis Hamilton came to light, large parts of the F1 community have condemned the Brazilian’s words.
Piquet used a Brazilian slur “neguinho” when referring to Hamilton in his analysis of the Briton’s 2021 collision with Verstappen at the British Grand Prix.
The slur is a Brazilian equivalent to the “N-word”, and according to native speakers, when used in a derogatory way, the term is considered to be racist.
Well, Piquet has now issued a statement, apologizing for his words, but at the same time stating that the translation made them sound different to how he meant them.
“I would like to clear up the stories circulating in the media about a comment I made in an interview last year,” Piquet wrote.
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“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,” the Brazilian concluded.