Embed from Getty Images

Nelson Piquet is denying using a racial slur against 7-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, but he has issued an apology to him.

On Monday, an interview Nelson, who is a retired racing driver and businessman, did last year with Motorsport Talk’s Ricardo Oliveira became public. 

Nelson was speaking in Portuguese when he called Lewis an epithet that can be translated as the N-word. 

Lewis Hamilton took to Twitter and blasted Nelson writing:

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.

See his original post below. 

Nelson released the following statement:

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 so defense 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 color.

I apologize wholeheartedly for 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.

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

See Nelson’s full statement below.

Nelson Piquet statement and apology

Formula 1 has released a statement condemning Nelson Piquet’s remarks. 

Do you think Nelson Piquet said what he said or was it a horrible case of something being lost in translation?