New footage has emerged of F1 legend Nelson Piquet talking about Lewis Hamilton “giving a**”.
Nelson Piquet faced further widespread condemnation on Saturday after further video evidence emerged revealing him using homophobic language to add to his earlier racist slurs against Lewis Hamilton.
Leading figures in Formula One 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 “disgusted” by the latest Piquet revelations.
“We are appalled at Nelson’s comments from an interview from some time ago,” said Horner whose team dismissed reserve driver Estonian Juri Vips for using a similar expression earlier this week.
“We felt that actions sometimes talk louder than words – and our action was draconian, but in line with our policy. We are fully behind Lewis, fully signed up to the Hamilton Commission.
“And Max (Verstappen) is absolutely clear, too, that he is fully supportive of Lewis and not just Lewis but against any form of racism or discrimination.”
Three-time world champion Piquet had been banned from Formula One and suspended from his membership of the British Racing Drivers Club on Friday when reports of his offensive language and racist slurs of Hamilton were first revealed.
But overnight social media posts, notably by Brazilian news channel Metropoles on Twitter, showed Piquet, 69, using vulgar homophobic terms in an insulting manner in a further attack on Hamilton.
The Brazilian used the language during an interview discussion of Hamilton’s clash 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 prompted his vehement attack on Hamilton following 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 one translation of the dialogue, Piquet said: “Keke? (He) was shit! Zero value. His son won the championship.”
He then used a racist slur to describe Hamilton before suggesting Nico Rosberg only won the world championship because Hamilton “was giving ass at that time. He was kinda bad”.
The interviewer and Piquet both laughed at these comments, which caused uproar in the Formula One paddock.
Hamilton thanked his fans and promised to keep working in a bid to end his 10-race winless streak after winding up second behind Carlos Sainz in Saturday’s wet and windy practice at the British Grand Prix.
The seven-time champion, who emerged smiling from an embattled and testing week, during which he rebutted offensive comments, was 0.163 seconds off the pace set by Ferrari’s Sainz – and happy with his on-track efforts in his heavily updated Mercedes.
“It’s been a good day,” he said.
“We’ve still got some bouncing, but it’s pretty good. It’s not on the straights here, but in the corners.
“It’s not so bad in the car. It’s a small step forward so we will keep working. With the stiffness of the cars, it’s not the same, but still fun to drive through Maggotts and Becketts and awesome at Stowe. This circuit is still epic!”
Winner of a record eight British Grands Prix and a record 103 overall, Hamilton has not won since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last December, a run of 10 races.
He has never gone 11 without victory in his F1 career and a Silverstone win on Sunday would make him the first driver to win nine races at one venue.
Asked about the effects of his car’s latest package of upgrades, he said they were mostly to improve the car’s down-force, adding that he felt the car had potential to gain a good result for his fans.
“They give me hope,” he said.
“I am so appreciative of the support I have had from everyone.”
Mercedes head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin said he was encouraged by Friday’s practice in which George Russell was eighth.
“It does look like we’ve made a step forward because we’re not normally up near the top on a Friday,” said Shovlin.
“I suspect there’ll be a bit more to come from Ferrari and a bit more to come from Red Bull, but the long-run work was quite encouraging as well.
“We were pretty aggressive with how we started here and there might be a little bit more to come.”
He said that after three races on bumpy and low-speed street circuits, Mercedes had learned more about their car and were well prepared for a race on a smoother-surfaced circuit with high-speed corners.
McLaren improved after a disastrous Canadian GP as Lando Norris recorded the third quickest time and Daniel Ricciardo (ninth) was also inside the top 10.
– with AFP