Nelson Piquet fined £780,000 for racist and homophobic comments to Lewis Hamilton

Three-time Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet has been ordered to pay five million Brazilian Reals (£780,000) in moral damages for racist and homophobic comments towards Lewis Hamilton

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Nelson Piquet has been fined £780,000 ($953,050) for racist and homophobic comments about Lewis Hamilton.

Piquet used a racial slur against Hamilton during a discussion about the controversial collision between the Mercedes driver and Max Verstappen at the 2021 British Grand Prix.

Hamilton responded by stating “these archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport”.

Since then, Piquet has apologised for the language he used but denied there was any racial intent.

“I would like to clear up the stories circulating in the media about a comment I made in an interview last year,” said Piquet in June 2022, when his comments made the headlines.

“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 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 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.”

Piquet‘s daughter Kelly Piquet is the partner of reigning Formula 1 champion Verstappen.

The charges 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.

The court ruled Piquet should pay five million Brazilian Reals (£780,000) with Judge Pedro Matos de Arrudo stating the amount of compensation was given “in the sense that one should not only appreciate the reparative function of civil liability but also (and perhaps mainly) the punitive function so that, as a society, we can someday be free from the pernicious acts that are racism and homophobia”.

Nigel Chiu
Nigel Chiuhttps://total-motorsport.com/author/nigel-chiu/
Nigel Chiu is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who worked at Total-Motorsport for 18 months until May 2023. He has been following F1 since 2007 and hasn’t missed a Grand Prix weekend since. Nigel’s worked with several motorsport websites, plus Eurosport and subsequently went on to work with Sky Sports F1 where he travels to multiple F1 races each season.
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