Dutch Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has objected to the ban on former Brazilian world champion Nelson Piquet during the British Grand Prix after using racist language in his comments about British Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
“If you ban people, you really don’t help the situation, you don’t talk,” said the Red Bull driver.
Verstappen, who is in a relationship with Pique’s daughter Kelly, added: “You have to communicate. Communication is very important because if you just block it doesn’t help what you’re trying to enforce. You’re trying to educate people. So it’s better to have a conversation.”
“I’ve had some time with Nelson, I think he’s more than the average person in general, and he’s certainly not racist,” explained Verstappen.
But the Dutchman said the wording used was “incorrect”.
“I think the wording that was used, although of course with different kinds of cultures and things they said when they were young and younger, was not correct,” Verstappen revealed.
An interview in which Pique used a racist adjective when speaking of Hamilton went viral on social media this week.
Both the Mercedes team and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile Racing (FIA), which organizes Formula 1, condemned Pique’s use of language, which apologized for it.