Nelson Piquet has apologised “wholeheartedly” for using an offensive expression during an interview last year when discussing Lewis Hamilton.
The three-time Formula One world champion Piquet, 69, was reported to have used a racial slur towards Hamilton following the 2021 British Grand Prix, but insists the word he used had been mistranslated.
Piquet 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.
Nelson Piquet has apologised "wholeheartedly" to Lewis Hamilton but "strongly condemns any suggestion" he racially abused his fellow Formula 1 world champion, claiming his comments have been mis-translated. pic.twitter.com/yw8vrLKBUR
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) June 29, 2022
“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.”