Nelson Piquet is facing civil charges in Brazil after he was caught racially abusing Sir Lewis Hamilton last year.
In November, Piquet was analysing an incident between Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the 2021 British Grand Prix, after which the Dutchman was sent spinning off into the barrier and out of the race.
While the Brazilian called every driver in his interview by their actual name, he used an offensive term to describe Hamilton, and this was dug up ahead of the British Grand Prix this season.
Following the emergence of the comments, multiple teams and drivers came to the defence of Hamilton, condemning all forms of discrimination.
In one of the more confusing apology statements out there, Piquet apologised for making the comments, before negating his apology by trying to justify calling Hamilton a “neguinho,” which translates from Portuguese as “little black guy.”
“I would like to clear the stories circulating in the media about a comment I made in an interview last year,” he stated.
“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 in Brazilian Portuguese for 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.”
It later transpired that he had made homophobic comments in the very same interview, and he confirmed his lack of repent ahead of the Le Mans classic, where he still failed to see how his comments were harmful even after they had blown up in his face.
“There is nothing, nothing I said wrong, I don’t really care, it doesn’t disturb my life,” he said, quoted by macon.com.
“I am here with my friends, we are having fun, that’s it.”
Four human rights groups have filed a lawsuit against the 69-year-old demanding he pay 10 million Real – the rough equivalent of £1.5 million – for causing moral damage to black and LGBTQ+ people.
The Brazilian now has just over two weeks to present his case to judge Felipe Costa da Fonseca Gomes of the Distrito Federal court.