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Formula 1 legend has to pay dearly for insults


Hamilton racially abused
Formula 1 legend has to pay dearly for insults

Nelson Piquet became world champion in Formula 1 three times, and the Brazilian is still present in the premier class of motorsport: as the father of the partner of double world champion Max Verstappen. His big rival insulted the racing idol racist – and now has to pay for it.

Former Brazilian racing driver Nelson Piquet has been fined for racist and homophobic insults against British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton. The three-time world champion has to pay five million reais (884,000 euros) to organizations that fight discrimination against blacks and homosexuals, a court in Brasília said. Four human rights groups had filed a complaint and initially asked Piquet to pay 10 million Brazilian reals (1.86 million euros) for allegedly causing moral harm to black and LGBTQ people. Three members of parliament had also lodged an official complaint against the 69-year-old.

Piquet racially insulted Hamilton in an interview in 2021. He later issued a public apology to Hamilton but claimed he had been misunderstood. The term he uses is not a derogatory term for black people, but stands for “guy” or “person” in Brazilian Portuguese. The court did not accept that. “Subtlety is one of the characteristics of modern Brazilian racism,” the verdict said. In another interview, Piquet homophobically insulted Hamilton.

The background to Piquet’s derogatory statements was an accident between Mercedes driver Hamilton and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen at the Silverstone race in 2021. According to Piquet, Hamilton’s mistake was the reason. The previously leading Verstappen was eliminated, Hamilton won the Grand Prix despite a time penalty. Piquet is the father of Verstappen’s partner.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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