Nelson Piquet fined for racist and homophobic comments about Lewis Hamilton
Three-time Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet has been ordered to pay five million Brazilian reals (£780,000) for making racist and homophobic comments about Lewis Hamilton.
The 70-year-old Brazilian used a racist term when referring to Hamilton in an interview in 2021.
Hamilton asked “archaic states of mind” change after the images are broadcast.
Piquet later apologized for his “badly thought out” racist remark about British Mercedes driver.
Formula 1, Hamilton’s Mercedes team and world motorsport governing body the FIA condemned Piquet’s comments in which he referred to the accident between Hamilton and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who is the partner of Piquet’s daughter, during the first round of the 2021 British Grand Prix.
Piquet said he “made no defense” of the remarks, but added that the term he used “is a term that has been widely and historically used colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for ‘guy’ or “no one” and was never intended to offend”.
In another interview that surfaced later, Piquet used racist and homophobic language to describe how Hamilton blew out the 2016 championship to Nico Rosberg.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton is the only black driver in the sport.
The charges against Piquet were brought by four human rights groups, including Brazil’s National LGBT+ Alliance, which wanted Piquet to pay 10 million Brazilian reals for alleged moral damages.
A Brazilian court ruled on Friday that he must pay five million Brazilian reals ($953,000), with Judge Pedro Matos de Arrudo saying the amount of compensation was awarded “so that, as a society, we can one day be freed from the pernicious acts of racism”. and homophobia”.