Nelson Piquet has been banned from the Formula 1 paddock following his use of a racially- offensive term to describe Lewis Hamilton.
The three-time world champion used the Portuguese term when referring to Hamilton on a Brazilian podcast, while discussing his collision with Max Verstappen at Silverstone last year. His comments drew widespread condemnation from F1, the FIA, teams and drivers, as well as Hamilton himself.
Despite a statement from Piquet on Wednesday where he claims the word — while “ill thought out” — wasn’t being used in a racial sense, RACER understands the explanation does not change F1’s view that the Brazilian is no longer welcome at grands prix in the sport’s paddock.
Although his daughter Kelly is a regular attendee as the girlfriend of Verstappen, Piquet has not been a prominent visitor to races, but one of F1’s most successful drivers in terms of championships will not be able to access the paddock in future.
The move comes after Red Bull terminated the contact of Juri Vips on Tuesday for using a racially offensive term when streaming an online gaming session. The Estonian’s Formula 2 team Hitech today announced it will be retaining Vips and allowing him to see out the season as an opportunity to redeem himself, leading to a statement from F2 saying: “Hitech Grand Prix’s decision today is surprising and not one we would have taken.”