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Nelson Piquet will think his racist slur towards Lewis Hamilton is funny

A clever comment and a cluck. That was Nelson Piquet’s way from the start. The smartest man in the room and the most cutting and happy to be like this.

On Tuesday, that trait overtook Brazil’s three-time world champion, after an interview about Lewis Hamilton’s crash at Silverstone last year with Max Verstappen, recorded in Portuguese in November, gained a wider audience.

In it, he referred to the Brit as a “Neguinho,” which translates as “little n*****.”

The Formula 1 community was shocked. And if there is any consolation for Hamilton in feeling unnecessarily abused, it is that there was no word of support for Piquet from the motorsport world, only condemnation.

There was no surprise about this representative of a Piquet trait, either, as his mischievous boy quips had long since descended into something far more unpleasant.

John Watson, who briefly rode alongside the 69-year-old son of a Rio doctor and politician on the Brabham team in the early 1980s, told sports post: ‘Why should I be surprised at what that bastard says?’

Nelson Piquet blasted by Formula 1 bosses after his comments on a Brazilian podcast (pictured)

Nelson Piquet blasted by Formula 1 bosses after his comments on a Brazilian podcast (pictured)

Piquet (right) used a racist slur to describe Hamilton (left) in an interview, sparking outrage

Piquet (right) used a racist slur to describe Hamilton (left) in an interview, sparking outrage

Piquet’s form on the personal insult is well developed. He sneered at Ayrton Senna, calling him “Sao Paulo’s taxi driver.” If it had stopped there, we might have forced a guilty laugh, but only just.

He, of course, went on to make widely contradicted innuendo about Senna’s sexuality, saying that his (Piquet’s) then-girlfriend, one of his many, would vouch for his judgment that Senna wasn’t into women.

Piquet didn’t stop there. In an interview with the Brazilian edition of Playboy, he dismissed Nigel Mansell as “an uneducated fool with a stupid and ugly woman.”

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Seven-time world champion hits back at Piquet's racist comments and calls for 'action' against the 'archaic schools of thought'

Seven-time world champion hits back at Piquet’s racist comments and calls for ‘action’ against the ‘archaic schools of thought’

“Why Nigel didn’t turn off his lights when he said what he was doing to Roseanne, I don’t know,” Watson said. The Mansells have been happily married for 47 years.

“It was typical Piquet,” Watson continued. “Some people around him thought he was very funny. Niki Lauda was one of his great friends, but I never understood what Niki saw in him, other than Nelson was a serial s***** and Niki wasn’t far behind in that regard.

“I remember getting on a plane a few years ago and Nelson saw me and said, ‘I didn’t know you were alive.’ He and Flavio Briatore laughed at it. It’s what you expect from him. He is smart but arrogant. He once had an argument with Alan Jones (Williams’ 1980 World Champion from Australia) and Alan said to him ‘If you start I’ll knock you into the next world’ and he would have done that.

Yet Nelson had this swagger. Many of the people who worked with him liked him.

“But any apology from Nelson about these latest remarks is a joke. He never apologized for anything in his life.

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F1 bosses said Piquet's despicable language 'has no place in society' and called Lewis an 'incredible ambassador'

F1 bosses said Piquet’s despicable language ‘has no place in society’ and called Lewis an ‘incredible ambassador’

He must have found his comments describing Lewis in this derogatory way funny. That’s how he is. I’d revoke his Grand Prix pass for life, or for five years, or whatever.’

There were other scrapes and scrapes, including a fight with Chilean Eliseo Salazar in Germany in 1982.

A stellar career in which he drove in Brabham, Williams, Lotus and Benetton was pushed to its end at the 1992 Indianapolis 500 where, after disparaging comments about the track, he crashed and severely damaged his ankle and leg, leaving him sidelined. had to sit. the race.

An elderly playboy, Piquet, who made an extra fortune from pioneering GPS technology in South America, is rarely seen in Formula 1 these days.

He suffered ill health that required heart surgery in New York. His daughter Kelly is dating Red Bull’s world champion Max Verstappen. Piquet was a little closer when his son, Nelson Jr, was writing his own chapter of infamy.

He is now 36 and races stock cars in Brazil. He was driving for Briatore’s Renault when he intentionally crashed at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to bring out a safety car that gave teammate Fernando Alonso the win.

Piquet talked about an incident between Red Bull's Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, pictured, during last year's British Grand Prix

Piquet talked about an incident between Red Bull’s Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, pictured, during last year’s British Grand Prix

Piquet Jr, fearing for his future with the team a year later, dropped the beans. The accomplice had turned grass.

So is F1 racist or is Piquet an outlier? Two things. First, the sport is predominantly white and male. That is, I believe, not because of any bias, but a consequence of the demographic developments that are flooding the engineering schools of Great Britain and, to some extent, Italy.

Second, I have not heard any language or opinion used in the past 10 years that would fit Piquet’s vision.

That said, Red Bull terminated the contract of Juri Vips, their 21-year-old Estonian reserve driver, who uttered the n-word while streaming a video game.

As Hamilton says, there is still work to be done.

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