Max Verstappen’s girlfriend Kelly Piquet has liked a social media post that defended her father Nelson following his racial slur against Lewis Hamilton. Three-time F1 world champion Piquet has been embroiled in a racism storm this week after twice referring to Hamilton as “the neguinho” during an interview.
There was outrage throughout F1 after Piquet’s comments came to light on Monday night. But his relative Rodrigo took to Instagram to offer a defence. Rodrigo claimed their “second grandmother called us all” the n-word and insisted it is a “word of love” rather than an offensive term.
Rodrigo received a barrage of criticism for his post, which led him to change his account settings to make his profile private. But Kelly clearly thought he was making sense as she liked the post.
Kelly, who has a son with Verstappen’s Red Bull predecessor Daniil Kvyat, has been dating the current F1 champion for a number of years. And her apparent support for her father is likely to raise eyebrows across the sport.
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The comments came to light this week after they were broadcast in Brazil. And Hamilton immediately called for action to be taken. “It’s more than language,” the 37-year-old said in a statement. “These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.”
And Mercedes also released a statement. “We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind,” it read. “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.”
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