Former Formula 1 World Champion Nelson Piquet has apologized for his racist remarks about Lewis Hamilton. At the same time, he emphasizes that he feels misunderstood.

After his racist blunder against Lewis Hamilton, three-time world champion Nelson Piquet publicly apologized to the Formula 1 superstar. However, in a statement distributed on Wednesday, the Brazilian rejected a racist background and sees himself misinterpreted by the media. As a consequence of the dispute, Piquet could be excluded from the Formula 1 paddock in the future.

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart to everyone involved, including Lewis who is an incredible driver, but the translation in some media that is now circulating on social media is incorrect,” said the statement, issued on behalf of Nelson Piquet. “Discrimination has no place in Formula 1 or in society and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in this regard.”

Nelson Piquet rates his statement as “imprudent”

Statements by Piquet (69) from last year had previously appeared in which he had disparaged Hamilton (37) in an interview. “What I said was thoughtless and I’m not arguing against it, but I want to clarify that the term used is one that has been widely and historically colloquially used in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for ‘guy’ or ‘person “is used and was never meant to be offensive,” it said.

Pipuet twice used the word “neguinho” (little black man) in the conversation, which is not racist per se, but in the context in which Piquet used it, it is because it was meant pejoratively.

“I would never use the word I’ve been accused of in some translations. I firmly reject any suggestion that I used the word with the aim of disparaging a driver because of the color of his skin,” Piquet said.

A crash at Silverstone provides the background

The background to Piquet’s derogatory statements was the accident between Mercedes driver Hamilton and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen at the Silverstone race a year ago. According to Piquet, a mistake by Hamilton was the reason. The previously leading Verstappen was eliminated, Hamilton won the Grand Prix despite a time penalty. Piquet is the father of Verstappen’s partner.

Above all, Formula 1 and the world automobile association Fia have condemned Nelson Piquet’s statements. It is reported that the Brazilian could be locked out of the paddock by Formula 1. Anyway, 1996 World Champion Damon Hill, who is a TV pundit for Sky Sports F1, doesn’t think Piquet would be “very welcome” if he showed up.

Hamilton’s had enough with discrimination

Hamilton tweeted after Piquet’s insult: “These are outdated views that need to change and have no place in our sport.” The seven-time world champion wrote that such attitudes surrounded him all his life and made him a target. “It was enough time to learn. Now it’s time to act.”

Daniel Teixeira of the NGO Ceert said: “Because of the structural racism in our society, it is difficult for white people to see blacks as equals. As Hamilton himself said, it’s not just about the language, it’s also about the mentality behind it , namely to reduce a person to the color of their skin.”

A year after the controversial incident between Hamilton and Verstappen at Silverstone, Formula 1 returns to the UK for the tenth round of the season this weekend.