Former F1 world champion Nelson Piquet could be made to pay a fine of £1.5 million for his racist comments about the seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. A combined case has been brought against the Brazilian by four human rights groups, who want to file a case under the allegation of causing moral and sentimental damage to people of colour and the LGBTQ+ community. The former driver will be fined £1.5 million if he is found guilty in court.
The Former F1 driver had criticised Hamilton for his crash with RedBull driver Max Verstappen in the corpse corner in the 2021 British Grand Prix and called him racist words, in his native language. Piquet said, “The little n****r [Lewis Hamilton] put the car in and left because there was no way to pass two cars on that corner. He made a joke. Lucky for him, only the other one [Max Verstappen] got f****d up.”
Nelson Piquet later came out and defended his controversial remarks against Lewis Hamilton after claiming he is not a racist. Piquet’s apology said, “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.”
Hamilton soon responded and tweeted “Vamos focar em mudar a mentalidade,” which translates from Portuguese as “Let’s focus on changing the mindset.” He then made another post, saying: “It’s more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. 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.”
Formula 1 also released a statement addressing the issue. “Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society. Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect. His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1”, the statement read.