Max Verstappen’s girlfriend Kelly Piquet likes a post from a relative of Nelson Piquet defending the former F1 world champion after his use of a racial slur against Sir Lewis Hamilton, despite him facing ban from the sport
Rodrigo Piquet, a relative of Nelson Piquet, has leapt to the defence of the three-time F1 world champion after his use of a racial slur against Sir Lewis Hamilton – with his social media post then liked by Kelly Piquet, Max Verstappen‘s girlfriend.
Piquet called Hamilton the n-word while referring to the superstar on a podcast last November, having discussed the crash between him and Verstappen at the 2021 British Grand Prix, and is now facing a blanket ban from all Formula One races.
He used the derogatory phrase ‘neguinho’ while discussing Hamilton, with the interview recorded in Portuguese. The footage was then uploaded onto YouTube in March and translated into English, leading to the sudden uproar across social media.
A winner of the world title in 1981, 1983 and 1987, Piquet suggested that Hamilton pushed his rival Verstappen off the track on purpose, prematurely ending his race.
‘The neguinho put the car in the wrong way and didn’t let [the other driver swerve],’ he said, with the comment now landing him in hot water in the world of motorsport.
Nelson Piquet (above) has been condemned after using a racial slur against Sir Lewis Hamilton
A post from Rodrigo Piquet defending Nelson, despite him facing a ban from Formula One if he does not apologise publicly, has been liked by Kelly Piquet (left), Max Verstappen’s girlfriend
‘He did Verstappen dirty’: Piquet’s comments on Hamilton
Nelson Piquet described the incident as a ‘joke’ on the podcast, and said Hamilton had been ‘lucky’ that Verstappen only crashed.
He told Motorsport Talks: ‘The neguinho put the car in the wrong way and didn’t let [the other driver swerve].
‘The neguinho put the car in the wrong way on the corner, it’s because you don’t know the curve.
‘It’s a very high curve, there is no way to pass two cars and there’s no way you can put the car aside.
‘He did [Verstappen] dirty. His luck was that only the other one was gone.’
However, Rodrigo has attempted to defend the former driver on Instagram.
In an eyebrow-raising post, he revealed that their ‘second grandmother called us all’ the n-word, and even claimed that it is a ‘word of love’, rather than an offensive term.
The flood of comments criticising his stance has seemingly led him to set his account to private, although Kelly Piquet, Nelson’s daughter, has liked the upload.
She has dated Verstappen for a number of years, and shares a son with Daniil Kvyat.
Responding to the controversy, Hamilton said: ‘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.’
Sportsmail also understands that Piquet may not be allowed back in the paddock if he does not publicly issue an apology to Hamilton, the seven-time world champion.
Numerous F1 teams and drivers have also stood firmly behind Hamilton, while Formula One chiefs criticised Piquet’s comments, but did not name him.
In a statement, they said: ‘Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society.
Hamilton (above) was labelled a ‘neguinho’ by Piquet, a derogatory racial slur in Portuguese
Piquet had been discussing an incident between Verstappen and Hamilton at the British GP
The Briton took to social media to hit out at the ‘archaic mindsets’ and urge action to be taken
‘Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect.
‘His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1.’
George Russell, Hamilton’s team-mate at Mercedes, said: ‘Huge respect to LH.
‘He has done more for the sport than any driver in history, not just on track but off it.
‘The fact that he and so many others are STILL having to deal with this behaviour is unacceptable. We all need to stand together against discrimination of any kind.’
Piquet has previously been embroiled in ugly outbursts, having called Nigel Mansell an ‘uneducated blockhead’ and described his wife Roseanne as ‘ugly.’
Questioning Senna’s sexuality and upsetting Mansell and his wife: Piquet’s previous controversies
Ex-racing driver Piquet has previously made a series of unpleasant comments about his fellow F1 drivers.
He publicly questioned Ayrton Senna’s sexuality in the time that they battled each other and called his rival ‘the Sao Paulo taxi driver’.
He also made offensive comments about Nigel Mansell and the Briton’s wife when they were team-mates at Williams.
The Brazilian gave an infamous interview with Playboy about his then teammate, calling Mansell an ‘uneducated blockhead’.
Piquet also resorted to derogatory insults about Mansell’s wife which he later apologised for when legal action was threatened.