Former Brazilian F1 driver Nelson Piquet has been fined almost $1 million for racist and homophobic comments he made against Lewis Hamilton.
A court statement said that “the substitute judge of the 20th Civil Court of Brasilia sentenced former Formula 1 driver nelson Piquet Souto Maior to pay R$5 million in compensation for collective moral damages, to be allocated to funds for the promotion of racial equality and discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community, due to the offenses made against current Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton”.
The statement refers to a Brazilian Portuguese racial and homophobic slur made by Pique during a TV interview in November 2021. He used the slur to describe Hamilton when he addresses a high-speed collision involving Hamilton and fellow driver Max Verstappen during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
When the clip went viral, Piquet apologised for his remarks, but the damage had been done by then.
Pique maintained that, despite the use of inappropriate language, there was no intention to harm Hamilton’s, or anyone else’s, honour.
Hamilton commented on the matter last year when he posted a series of tweets on Twitter: “Vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade.” The tweet was Portuguese for “let’s focus on changing the mindset.”
Piquet’s daughter Kelly has been dating current world champ Max Verstappen since 2021.
Image credit: The Sportsrush