Nelson Piquet is a retired Brazilian racing driver who competed in Formula One from 1978 to 1991. He is a three-time World Drivers’ Champion, having won the title in 1981, 1983, and 1987. The Formula One veteran has been on the news lately due to a series of comments he made about 7X WDC world champion, Lewis Hamilton.
Piquet made his Formula One debut in 1978 with the Ensign team before moving to Brabham in 1979, where he won his first championship in 1981. He then joined the Williams team in 1986 before moving to Lotus in 1988 and finally retiring from Formula One in 1991. Piquet is known for his aggressive driving style and technical expertise, which helped him win a total of 23 Grand Prix races throughout his career.
Nelson Piquet’s comments
Nelson Piquet has been criticized for making racist and homophobic comments about Lewis Hamilton. The comments, made on a Brazilian podcast, were posted on social media in June and July 2022. In one of the clips, Piquet referred to Hamilton using a racial slur and accused him of causing a collision during a race. In another clip, he made homophobic and derogatory comments about F1 driver Nico Rosberg and his father.
Nelson Piquet called Lewis Hamilton the n-word and I haven’t seen any big F1 news outlet or anyone within the F1 community call him out for it.
— iesh🍒 (@lewishamil7on) June 27, 2022
He was recorded saying “The n******* put the car in the wrong way and didn’t let the other driver swerve. The n******* put the car in the wrong way on the corner, it’s because you don’t know the curve.” About Lewis Hamilton.
Moreover, he spoke about Keke Rosberg and his son, Nico “Keke? He was a s***! Zero value. His son [Nico] won the championship. The ‘n*******’ was [more focused on] giving a** at that time. He was kinda bad.”
Piquet tried to apologize for his statements, mentioning that he did not intend to cause offense. However, his use of a racially derogatory term was widely condemned. In his apology, Piquet claimed that the term he used was colloquially used in Brazilian Portuguese to refer to a person or a guy, but many pointed out that the term had a long history of being used as a racial slur.
F1’s Nelson Piquet must pay £780,000 after racist and homophobic Lewis Hamilton comments https://t.co/TQAbNmZQ4g
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 25, 2023
However, the resurfacing of Piquet’s comments sparked a debate about racism and discrimination in motorsports. Many fans and experts called for stronger action to be taken against such behavior in the sport. Hamilton himself has been an outspoken advocate for diversity and equality in motorsports and has been subjected to racist abuse and discrimination throughout his career. The incident highlighted the need for continued efforts to promote inclusivity and combat discrimination in all areas of the sport.
Lewis Hamilton opinion on Piquet’s comment and repercussions for Nelson Piquet
Hamilton responded on Twitter, saying that such “archaic mindsets” have no place in the sport and that he has been subjected to such attitudes throughout his life. He called for action to address discrimination in motorsports.
Lewis Hamilton has condemned Nelson Piquet’s racial slur. pic.twitter.com/ZjFNySsU7l
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) June 28, 2022
He mentioned on Twitter “It’s more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport,” and that “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.”
Piquet has been will be penalized a sum of approximately $1 million as ruled by a Brazilian court. The charges were put onto Piquet by 4 groups.