Footage emerged this week in the Brazilian press of Piquet calling Hamilton a racist name.

A day later, the three-time F1 champion issued a statement, apologising “wholeheartedly” to Hamilton but disputed that the word he used was racist, and claimed it was translated incorrectly.

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Hamilton spoke out on social media after Piquet’s remark made the media headlines with a series of passionate tweets.

Ecclestone - who ran F1 for nearly 40 years - has chipped in with his opinion on Piquet’s comments.

The 91-year-old believes Hamilton should move on from it after Piquet’s apology.

"I've known Nelson for an awful long time," Ecclestone told Good Morning Britain. "I was with him a couple of weeks ago. It's not the sort of thing Nelson would say meaning something bad. 

"He probably thinks lots of things he says which might upset us or might feel a little bit offensive.... to him it's nothing. It's just part of conversation. Nelson would never go out of his way to say anything bad, certainly.

"I think what probably happened, knowing Nelson as I know him, as his daughter is the girlfriend of Max Verstappen, probably after seeing the accident, he probably exploded and carried that forward. Well it's probably not appropriate with us. But probably it isn't something terrible that happens if you said that in Brazil.

"People say things... if people happen to be a little bit overweight, or undersized like me, I'm quite sure a lot of people have made remarks about that. If I'd have heard it, I'd have been able to deal with it myself without too much trouble. I'm surprised Lewis hasn't just brushed it aside. Or, better than that, replied. But he's now come out and Nelson has apologised. So everybody seems, or should be, happy."

Ecclestone would ‘take a bullet’ for Putin

Ecclestone’s sensational interview with GMB continued with the former F1 chief claiming he'd "take a bullet" for Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.

He described Putin as "sensible" and "a first-class person" who "believed he was doing the right thing for Russia", despite the country’s decision to invade Ukraine earlier this year.

"Unfortunately he's like a lot of business people, certainly like me, that we make mistakes from time to time and when you make the mistake, you have to do the best you can to get out of it."

After his interview, F1 released a statement stating: "The comments made by Bernie Ecclestone are his personal views and are in very stark contrast to the position of the modern values of our sport."

The Russian Grand Prix was dropped from the 2022 F1 calendar earlier this year.