What did Nelson Piquet say about Lewis Hamilton? Racist comment explained, F1 reply, who is his daughter Kelly

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Three-time Formula 1 Champion Nelson Piquet directed racially abusive language towards Lewis Hamilton in a podcast

With just a few days to go before the British Grand Prix takes place in Silverstone this weekend, words used by the former F1 Champion Nelson Piquet have resurfaced.

Both Formula 1 and Mercedes have released statements in support of Lewis Hamilton, who was the target of racial abuse by Piquet.

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Piquet has since ‘wholeheartedly’ apologised for his comments and claims that his words were ‘mistranslated’.

The seven-time world Champion Hamilton has now called for ‘action’ and says the ‘archaic mindsets need to change’ after being subjected to the abuse.

Piquet - the father of Max Verstappen’s partner Kelly Piquet - used a racially offensive expression in Portuguese during a Brazilian podcast last November when he referred to the British driver as he discussed Hamilton and Verstappen’s collision during the 2021 British GP.

As we near the anniversary of said crash, these comments have resurfaced once more with organisations now taking a stand.

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Who is Nelson Piquet and what did he say?

Nelson Piquet is a three-time winner of the F1 Championship, winning in 1981, 1983 and 1987. The Brazilian driver raced for Ensign, McLaren, Brabham, Williams, Lotus and Benetton during his 204 races, winning a total of 23 races and securing 60 podiums.

Piquet at Silverstone in 1984Piquet at Silverstone in 1984
Piquet at Silverstone in 1984 | Getty Images

He is the father of Brazilian model Kelly Piquet who is now the partner of reigning Champion Max Verstappen. Kelly has one daughter with her former partner and former Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat.

During the podcast, the Brazilian F1 Champion used the term “neguinho” which translates to the n-word in English.

The former Champ has since offered an apology for his comments saying it was “ill-thought-out”.

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What did Lewis Hamilton say about comments?

In response to the resurfacing of the comments, Lewis Hamilton sent out a series of tweets which included: “It’s more than language. These 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.”

The 7-time Champion also tweeted “Vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade” which is the Portuguese for “Let’s focus on changing the mindset.”

Hamilton has continued to speak out and has added to his initial comments questioning “why we are giving the older voices a platform?”

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What have the Formula 1 organisations said?

Formula 1 then released their own statement on the matter saying: “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. His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1”

Hamilton’s team, Mercedes posted on Twitter: “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.

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“Together we share a vision for a diverse and inclusive motosport, and this incident underlines the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future.”

Additionally, the FIA, F1’s governing body, also tweeted their own response saying: “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.”

Nelson Piquet has also been banned from attending the British Grand Prix after his comments.

When is Silverstone 2022?

The British Grand Prix takes place this weekend, with first practices taking place on Friday 1 June 2022 and the race weekend concluding with the race on Sunday 3 June 2022.

The race begins at 3pm BST on Sunday and will be available to watch on the Sky Sports Formula 1 channel.

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