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Nelson Piquet Sr. has been banned from the F1 paddock following his racist language used in reference to Lewis Hamilton, per multiple reports.

The three-time F1 world champion issued an apology Wednesday, saying, in part, “What I said was ill thought out, and I make no defence for it, but the term used 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 aim of belittling a driver because of his skin colour.”

In an interview conducted late last year, the 69-year-old used the derogatory term when discussing Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s first-lap collision during last season’s British Grand Prix. Piquet, who is the father of Verstappen’s partner, Kelly, commented on the Mercedes star’s handling of the car. Piquet said Hamilton “put his car there to hit him on purpose,” later adding “he wanted to take him out no matter the cost.”

According to Sky Sports’ translation of the Portuguese interview, the Brazilian used the term twice during the discussion. The reference translates to “little Black guy,” per The Race and Associated Press

BBC Sport was one of the first to report Piquet had been banned, and Autosport reported the same move. Sky Sports’ Craig Slater said, “There has been speculation about would he continue to receive a pass for Formula One events. My understanding is that will not be the case despite this apology.” ESPN reported that the understanding is this ban will be “indefinite.”

Formula One, the FIA and Mercedes all condemned the racist language used by Piquet but did not name him in their respective statements Tuesday. Hamilton addressed the comments on Twitter, saying in one tweet, “It’s more than language. 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.”

Several drivers and multiple teams publicly spoke out in support of the Mercedes star. 

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc said in his statement, “Knowing Lewis since I arrived in Formula 1, he has always been extremely respectful to me and everyone that he meets. Those values should be the standard towards anybody around the world. The comments made towards Lewis should not be tolerated, and we should continue to push for a more diverse and inclusive sport. We need to remove discriminatory behaviour and racist language in any form from not just our sport, but our society as well.” 

McLaren’s fi was quick to praise Hamilton for how he has addressed the racism he has faced. He wrote on his Instagram story, in part, “Those who still choose to spread hate and use those words are no friend of mine. I want to acknowledge Lewis and all the work he has done both on and off the track to not only spread messages of equality but combat that hate.

“I’ve never dealt with any racially motivated actions, but he has for his entire life. Yet, each time his response to the hate is motivated by maturity, positivity and educating the world on how we should act.”

Meanwhile, George Russell was one of the first drivers to speak out in support of his Mercedes teammate, tweeting, “Huge respect to LH. He has done more for the sport than any driver in history, not just on track but off it. The fact that he and so many others are STILL having to deal with this behaviour is unacceptable. We all need to stand together against discrimination of any kind.”