Retired Formula 1 champion
Nelson Piquet has been fined $950,000
for "non-material damage" for his racist and homophobic comments towards Lewis Hamilton.
In 2021, the 70-year-old Brazilian referred to the seven-time F1 champion as
," an offensive racist term meaning "little black man."
In another interview Piquet used racist and homophobic language.
A Basel court ordered Piquet to pay five million Brazilian reais "in collective non-pecuniary damages that must be directed to a fund to promote racial equity and against the LGBTTTIQ community
Bernie Ecclestone with Nelson Piquet.
Several human rights groups filed the lawsuit, including Brazil's National LGBTI+ Alliance.
Hamilton condemned the
and the Mercedes driver acknowledged that he has been
"surrounded by these types of attitudes and has been white all his life
He is the only black driver in F1 and last year he received honorary Brazilian citizenship.
Piquet, who won three F1 titles in the 1980s, made the comment referring to a crash between Hamilton and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen at the 2021 British Grand Prix. Piquet's daughter is a partner of Verstappen
Piquet apologized in a statement for "his poor judgment" in using a racist term, but one that is
"one widely used colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for 'boy' or 'person' and was never intended to offend.
Hamilton and Piquet at Niki Lauda's funeral.
In his decision, Judge Pedro Matos de Arruda said that "subtlety is one of the characteristics of current racism in Brazil" and that this word "is not an affective nickname."
Piquet used racist and homophobic language in another interview when referring to Hamilton's failure to win the championship.
In his comment, Piquet implied that if Hamilton had not been gay, "he would have won the championship... So being gay would be a negative characteristic," the judge added in his decision.
Piquet will be able to appeal the ruling.
Nelson Piquet half apologized to Hamilton: "What I said was misinterpreted"
Lewis Hamilton, one more Brazilian: he received honorary citizenship and dedicated it to his hero Ayrton Senna