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Nelson Piquet

Piquet issues statement over alleged 'racist' remark aimed at Hamilton

Nelson Piquet Snr. has apologised to Lewis Hamilton for using the term 'neguinho' and says his choice of word was "ill-thought-out".

Nelson Piquet
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Nelson Piquet Snr. has apologised to Lewis Hamilton for his use of the word 'neguinho' during a 2021 interview in his native Portuguese.

The Brazilian motorsport legend used the term while blaming Hamilton for his 2021 British Grand Prix crash with Max Verstappen.

Piquet has described his use of the word as "ill-thought-out" but says there was no racial motivation behind its use.

He has instead claimed that the term is widely used in Brazilian-Portuguese to mean "guy" or "person".

Piquet claims translation is not correct

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Piquet said: "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."

He added: "Discrimination has no place in F1 or society and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in that respect."

How did Hamilton respond to the interview clip?

Hamilton is yet to respond publicly to Piquet's apology but did take to social media to respond to the clip that made headlines.

"It's more than language," the seven-time World Champion wrote. "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."

Formula 1, Mercedes and a number of other F1 teams and drivers have already come out in support of Hamilton.

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