Nelson Piquet fined £780,000 after directing racial and homophobic comments towards Lewis Hamilton in 2021
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Former British F1 favourite Nelson Piquet has been ordered to pay £780,000 after directing racist and homophobic comments towards Lewis Hamilton back in 2021.
A Brazilian court ruled on Friday that the former three-time F1 world champion must pay five million Brazilian Reals (£780,000) in compensation, citing that the decision was made "so that, as a society, we can someday be free from the pernicious acts that are racism and homophobia."
The charges came footage surfaced of Piquet using a racially offensive term in speaking about Lewis Hamilton in an interview conducted back in 2021.
Hamilton spoke out on the comments made by Piquet on his official social media channels, calling for change to "archaic mindsets" in relation to race and sexuality:
"It’s more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport.
Lewis Hamilton has condemned Nelson Piquet's racial slur. pic.twitter.com/ZjFNySsU7l— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) June 28, 2022
"I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action."
Speaking in June 2022, Piquet had insisted that the term used was "ill thought out" however he added that he did not mean to cause offensive, insisting that the phrase used had been mistranslated.
"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."
Lewis Hamilton will be back in F1 action next weekend, as the Formula 1 season continues with a trip to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix.
Featured Image Credit: PA/YouTube
Topics: Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1