New footage has surfaced of F1 legend Nelson Piquet talking about Lewis Hamilton “giving a **”.
Nelson Piquet was again widely condemned on Saturday after additional video material emerged showing that he used homophobic language to complement his previous racist statements against Lewis Hamilton.
Leading figures in Formula 1 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 “horrified” by Piquet’s latest revelations.
“We are shocked by Nelson’s comments from an interview some time ago,” said Horner, whose team reserve driver turned down Estonian Juri Vips earlier this week for using a similar expression.
“We felt that sometimes actions speak louder than words – and our action was draconian, but in line with our policies. We are fully behind Lewis, fully registered with the Hamilton Commission.
“And Max (Verstappen) is also absolutely clear that he fully supports Lewis and not just Lewis, but also against any form of racism or discrimination.”
Three-time world champion Piquet was banned from Formula 1 on Friday and suspended from his membership in the British Racing Drivers Club when reports of his abusive language and racial slurs against Hamilton were first revealed.
But overnight social media posts, most notably by Brazilian news channel Metropoles on Twitter, showed that Piquet, 69, used vulgar homophobic terms in an abusive manner in a further attack on Hamilton.
The Brazilian used the language during an interview discussion of Hamilton’s collision 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 led to his violent attack on Hamilton after their Silverstone crash.
In the new clip, Piquet attacks Hamilton and also insults Keke Rosberg, the 1982 champion, and his son Nico, who was Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate and winner of the 2016 world championship.
According to a translation of the dialogue, Piquet said: “Keke? (He) sucked! Zero value. His son won the championship.”
He then used a racist slur to describe Hamilton before suggesting that Nico Rosberg won the world championship only because Hamilton “gave a butt at the time. He was a bit bad”.
The interviewer and Piquet both laughed at these comments, which caused a stir in the Formula 1 paddock.
Hamilton thanked his fans and promised to keep working to end his 10-race winless run after finishing second behind Carlos Sainz in Saturday’s wet and windy practice at the British Grand Prix.
The seven-time champion, who came out smiling from an eventful and testing week in which he refuted insulting comments, was 0.163 seconds behind the pace of Ferrari’s Sainz – and was pleased with his efforts on the track in his highly updated Mercedes.
“It was a good day,” he said.
“We still have some bounce, but it’s pretty good. It’s not here on the straights, but in the corners.
“It’s not that bad in the car. It’s a small step forward, so we keep working. With the stiffness of the cars it’s not the same but still fun to drive through Maggotts and Becketts and great in Stowe. This track is still epic!”
Winner of a record eight British Grand Prix and a record 103 overall, Hamilton has not won since last December’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, a 10-race run.
He has never turned 11 without a win in his F1 career and a win at Silverstone on Sunday would make him the first driver to win nine races at one location.
Asked about the effects of his car’s latest package of upgrades, he said they were primarily aimed at improving the car’s downforce, adding that he believed the car had potential to deliver a good result. to achieve for his fans.
“They give me hope,” he said.
“I’m so grateful for the support I’ve had from everyone.”
Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ head of track engineering, said he was encouraged by Friday’s practice, in which George Russell finished eighth.
“Looks like we’ve made a step forward because we’re not normally near the top on a Friday,” Shovlin said.
“I suspect there will be some more from Ferrari and some more from Red Bull, but the long-term work has also been quite encouraging.
“We were pretty aggressive with how we started here and there may be a little more to come.”
He said that after three races on bumpy low-speed street courses, Mercedes had learned more about their car and was well prepared for a race on a track with smoother surfaces and fast corners.
McLaren improved after a disastrous Canadian GP when Lando Norris set the third fastest time and Daniel Ricciardo (ninth) was also in the top 10.
– with AFP
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