LEWIS HAMILTON has received an apology from three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet after audio appeared this week of the Brazilian using a racial slur in an interview towards the Englishman.
The 69-year-old has come under heavy criticism from several high profile figures in Formula 1, these include a number of drivers, fans and racing teams,
Piquet was speaking about a collision between Hamilton and Max Verstappen in July 2021 at Silverstone.
Huge respect to LH. He has done more for the sport than any driver in history, not just on track but off it. The fact that he and so many others are STILL having to deal with this behaviour is unacceptable. We all need to stand together against discrimination of any kind. https://t.co/E4c1jFQKtf — George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) June 28, 2022
Huge respect to LH. He has done more for the sport than any driver in history, not just on track but off it. The fact that he and so many others are STILL having to deal with this behaviour is unacceptable. We all need to stand together against discrimination of any kind. https://t.co/E4c1jFQKtf
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) June 28, 2022
The former driver said that his words had been mistranslated but apologised for any comments made about the seven-time world champion.
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.
"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."
This weekend the iconic British Grand Prix at Silverstone will take place, but Piquet will not be allowed attend as the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), have suspended the former driver's membership.
In a statement, they wrote: "BRDC Board of Directors has noted that, in a Brazilian podcast last November, Nelson Piquet Senior, an Honorary Member of the BRDC, described Lewis Hamilton using a racially offensive expression in Portuguese.
"The apology issued yesterday by Mr Piquet Snr has also been noted.
"In view of the BRDC’s zero-tolerance policy towards any act involving or suggesting racism, the BRDC Board has concluded that Mr Piquet Snr's use of racially offensive language to describe a fellow BRDC member (and seven-times World Champion) is unacceptable and represents conduct that is wholly inappropriate for an Honorary Member of the BRDC, notwithstanding his subsequent apology.
Accordingly, we have advised Mr Piquet Snr that his membership has been suspended with immediate effect.
"Following the Club's due process, it is anticipated that the Board will terminate Mr Piquet Sr's membership at a board meeting to be held after the required seven-day notice period."