The 69-year-old Brazilian, who won the F1 world title in 1981, 1983 and 1987, used a racially offensive term to refer to Hamilton. The comments were made during a podcast last November in Portuguese, but only came to light last month.
Piquet used the slur while blaming Hamilton for his controversial collision with Max Verstappen – the boyfriend of Piquet’s daughter Kelly – at last year’s British Grand Prix.
Piquet remarks were met with widespread condemnation across the sport. As well as being banned from the F1 paddock as punishment, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) has suspended the triple world champion’s membership.
Speaking ahead of last weekend’s British Grand Prix, Hamilton said “archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport” in response to Piquet’s comments.
“I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life,” the seven-time world champion continued. “There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.”
During an appearance in the paddock at the Le Mans Classic last weekend, Piquet addressed the controversy.
“I don’t really care, it doesn’t disturb my life,” he is quoted as saying by Motorsport Magazine. “I am here with my friends, we are having fun, that’s it.”
Piquet apologised for the racial slur he used to describe Hamilton but stressed the word had been taken out of the context he intended, claiming it does not have a racial connotation in Brazil.
While Verstappen said it was not correct for Piquet to have used the term he did when he addressed the matter for the first time at Silverstone, the Red Bull driver added that Piquet is “definitely not a racist”.
At Le Mans, Piquet once again maintained he was not being racist.
“This is all bullshit, I am not racist,” he said. “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.
“Here I have no obligations to do anything any publicity, nothing, just a bit of racing and I have really been enjoying.”