Hamilton addressed the racism storm that has rocked F1 on Thursday at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix before then impressing at Friday’s Practice. But, on Thursday night, more footage of Piquet became available.
The new footage is part of the same interview where ex-F1 world champion Piquet racially abused Hamilton, from November 2021.
The latest instalment, which leaked on Thursday night after Hamilton had responded, was reported by Brazilian media platform Metropoles via Grande Premio.
Metropoles reported: “In a new video, Nelson Piquet repeats a racist term to refer to Lewis Hamilton and makes a homophobic attack on the Briton.”
Grande Premio reported: “Nelson Piquet’s bomb interview had another pitiful stretch beyond what the world saw. This time, with also homophobic statement.
“The whole world saw the excerpt from the bomb interview given by Nelson Piquet in November last year where he treats Lewis Hamilton for a pejorative term of a racist nature. But that’s not all. There is another part of the interview in which Piquet reinforces the use of racist expression and still results with an explicit homophobia.”
Nelson Piquet apologised but denied intent
The Brazilian’s statement included: “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.”
Lewis Hamilton: Why give ‘older voices’ a platform?
Bernie Ecclestone, the 91 year old ex-F1 supremo, said that Hamilton “should be happy” because Piquet apologised.
Hamilton responded at Silverstone: “Why do we give these older voices a platform?
“It is not representative of our sport and where we are. We are looking to grow – in the US and in South Africa.
“We are looking to the future to give younger people a platform who are more representative.
“They are not really in the sport. They haven’t been relevant for decades. But I’m still here, standing strong, pushing for diversity.”
Max Verstappen: Piquet is wrong but not a racist
Piquet is the father of Verstappen’s girlfriend, Kelly. She had liked a social media post that appeared to defend her father.
Verstappen said about Piquet: “I think the wording that was used, even with the different kinds of cultures and things they probably said when they were younger, was not correct.
“I’ve spent a bit of time with Nelson, probably more than the average person in general, and he’s definitely not a racist. He’s actually a nice and pretty relaxed guy.”
The incredible reaction from F1 drivers
Sebastian Vettel and Lando Norris, among others, spoke powerfully about changing attitudes.
Vettel said: “I don’t think there should be any room for these kinds of comments. We still have to do a lot… I think we have come a lot further than many years ago but it doesn’t help when there are still these things out there and people still saying inappropriate or using inappropriate language and saying the wrong things.”
F1 has also been faced by a second racism issue this week – Juri Vips had his contract terminated by Red Bull as their reserve and test driver after saying a racist word. He has been backed “to redeem himself” by continuing this season for his team HiTech Grand Prix but F2 have publicly disputed that decision.
Norris said: “I think there’s a difference between someone making a mistake and having used a wrong word versus someone who is purposely trying to do it to discriminate and have it in the wrong meaning.
“Any racist language or slurs are never accepted. I do see that just words do make a big difference and the fact of how big something like this has become over the last few days.”