RED BULL chief Christian Horner has slammed Nelson Piquet for his sickening racial abuse of Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Video footage emerged last week of the three-time world champion using the N-word to describe the Brit.
Former F-1 champion Nelson Piquet used a racial slur to describe Sir Lewis HamiltonCredit: AP
Piquet repeatedly Hamilton the N-word in an interviewCredit: AFP
The Brazilian’s comments have been slammed by Red Bull chief Christian HornerCredit: REX
And days after axing junior driver Juri Vips for using racist language, Red Bull supremo Horner has echoed that sentiment.
He said: “First of all, we are appalled by Nelson’s comments and it’s from an interview from some time ago.
“But we’ve obviously had an instance with one of our young drivers earlier, or at the end of last week, and we took very definitive action when he made a racist comment.
“And so we took action and we immediately removed him from the team.
“So we put out a statement about Juri and this one comes out and we felt we had made a very strong statement through [the] action of actually dropping Juri from the team – [we are] not in any way condoning any form of racism or discrimination.”
Red Bull failed to put out a specific statement condemning Piquet, the father of Max Verstappen‘s girlfriend Kelly, after his comments emerged.
But Horner believes the message the team put out in the wake of Vips’ axing was sufficient.
He said: “We put out a statement earlier in the day about Juri, about having zero tolerance for racism, and to then put out another statement about Nelson Piquet…
“Of course, we are fully behind Lewis, we are fully signed up to the Hamilton Commission and we felt actions sometimes talk louder than words, and the action we took with Juri was obviously draconian but in line with the policy we have.”
Piquet, 69, issued a grovelling apology for his use of the racial slur but insists he didn’t use it in an offensive manner.
He said: “What I said was ill-thought-out, and I make no defence for it, but I will clarify that the term used is one that has widely and historically been used colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for ‘guy’ or ‘person’ and was never intended to offend.
“I would never use the word I have been accused of in some translations.
“I strongly condemn any suggestion that the word was used by me with the aim of belittling a driver because of his skin colour.
“I apologise wholeheartedly to anyone that was affected, including Lewis, who is an incredible driver, but the translation in some media that is now circulating on social media is not correct.
“Discrimination has no place in F1 or society and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in that respect.”
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