NELSON PIQUET aimed a racial slur at Lewis Hamilton during two separate TV interviews last November.
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Nelson Piquet has slammed “bulls***” allegations that he is racist as the three-time F1 champion claims he “doesn’t care” about comments he directed at Lewis Hamilton. The Brazilian was condemned in the run-up to the British Grand Prix after footage emerged of him using an apparent racial slur to describe the seven-time champion.
Piquet has admitted the comments had “caused some problems” but reiterated that the words he used were “not racist”. Speaking to Motorsport Magazine, Piquet said: “This is all bulls***, I am not racist.
“There is nothing, nothing I said wrong. What I said is a very soft word — we even use it for some of our white friends. I used this word almost one year ago in the interview and they come up with this. It has caused me some problems but to be honest with you I don’t really care.”
The Brazilian revealed he was under “no obligations” to do any publicity and was attending the Le Mans Classic solely to compete. However, Piquet then seemed to blame the issues on his friendship with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
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Nelson Piquet said he ‘doesn’t care’ about the racism allegations (Image: Getty)
He believed that discrediting him would also “rub off” on the President’s image as part of a smear campaign. He explained: “There is so much bull**** going on particularly there in Brazil,” he said. “You may not know that I am very close to President Bolsonaro and I think he is very good for Brazil.
“But the press in Brazil is very negative about him and anything they can do to discredit him they will do, so if they discredit me, it rubs off on him because Brazil knows we are close.” On Monday, a Brazilian judge opened an investigation into Piquet’s comments, with the Brazilian having just 15 days to state his case.
If unsuccessful he could have to pay damages of around £1.56million (10m Brazilian reals).
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Lewis Hamilton hit back at Piquet after hearing the comments (Image: Getty)
Piquet had apologised in the days after the incident as he said the words had no malicious intent. He said he would “never use the word” he was accused of and called for an end to discrimination in F1.
However, F1 banned Piquet from the paddock after the comments came to light while teams and drivers hit back at the comments. Hamilton said: “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.”