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Nelson Piquet faces condemnation after further Lewis Hamilton insults revealed

Three-time world champion Formula One racer Nelson Piquet of Brazil

FILE - Three-time world champion Formula One racer Nelson Piquet of Brazil. Photo: Janos Marjai/AP

Published Jul 1, 2022


Silverstone — Nelson Piquet faced further widespread condemnation on Friday after further video evidence emerged revealing him using homophobic language to add to his earlier racist slurs against Lewis Hamilton.

Leading figures in Formula One at the British Grand Prix including Red Bull team chief Christian Horner, 2009 world champion Jenson Button and respected commentator Martin Brundle said they were "appalled" and "disgusted" by the latest Piquet revelations.

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"We are appalled at Nelson's comments from an interview from some time ago," said Horner whose team dismissed reserve driver Estonian Juri Vips for using a similar expression earlier this week.

"We felt that actions sometimes talk louder than words — and our action was draconian, but in line with our policy. We are fully behind Lewis, fully signed up to the Hamilton Commission.

"And Max (Verstappen) is absolutely clear, too, that he is fully supportive of Lewis and not just Lewis but against any form of racism or discrimination."

Three-time world champion Piquet had been banned from Formula One and suspended from his membership of the British Racing Drivers Club on Thursday when reports of his offensive language and racist slurs of Hamilton were first revealed.

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But overnight social media posts, notably by Brazilian news channel Metropoles on Twitter, showed Piquet, 69, using vulgar homophobic terms in an insulting manner in a further attack on Hamilton.

The Brazilian used the language, which prompted widespread outrage in defence of Hamilton on Thursday, during an interview discussion of Hamilton's clash with Max Verstappen at last year's British Grand Prix, for a podcast broadcast in Brazil last November.

Piquet's daughter Kelly is Verstappen's girlfriend, a connection that may have prompted his vehement attack on Hamilton following their Silverstone crash.

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In the new clip, Piquet attacks Hamilton and also insults Keke Rosberg, the 1982 champion, and his son Nico, who was Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate and winner of the 2016 world championship.

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According to one translation of the dialogue, Piquet said: "Keke? Was shit! Zero value. His son won the championship."

He then used a racist slur to describe Hamilton before saying he "was giving ass at that time. He was kinda bad".

The interviewer and Piquet both laughed at these comments, which caused uproar in the Formula One paddock.