Formula 1 has condemned three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet for using racist language when speaking about Lewis Hamilton.
Piquet used a derogative term in his native Portuguese when referring to seven-time champion Hamilton on a Brazilian podcast last November, which has resurfaced in recent days.
Piquet, who won world titles in the 1980s, was speaking about the first-lap crash at Silverstone last year between Hamilton and Max Verstappen, the partner of Piquet’s daughter Kelly.
In a statement issued on Tuesday Formula 1 said that “discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society.
“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.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes team also released a statement in which it “condemns in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind. Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off track.
“Together, we share a vision for a diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underlines the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future.”
Piquet has a history of making offensive remarks, having previously been disparaging about former F1 team-mates and rivals, including Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna.
He has only been an infrequent visitor to Formula 1 events in recent years.