Three-time Method 1 champion Nelson Piquet was fined AU$1.43 million on Saturday for racist remarks made towards British driver Lewis Hamilton, who he referred to as “neguinho” (”little black”) in an interview.
A courtroom in Brasilia dominated that these “insupportable” remarks constituted a “critical offence to the basic values of society”.
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Piquet, 70, was fined for “collective ethical damages” with the cash being donated to teams combating towards discrimination.
World champion in 1981, 1983 and 1987, Piquet used the phrase “neguinho” in an interview in 2021 when he criticised Hamilton’s function in a conflict with Max Verstappen, his daughter Kelly’s boyfriend, on the British Grand Prix the identical yr.
Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, denounced “archaic attitudes” which “needed to change”.
“These are greater than phrases,” stated Hamilton.
Piquet later issued a “wholehearted” apology.
“What I stated was improper and I’m not going to defend myself however I wish to make clear that this time period has typically been utilized in Brazilian Portuguese to explain ‘man’ or ‘particular person’ and that it was by no means meant to offend,” he insisted.
Nevertheless, the courtroom was not satisfied, ruling that “the absence of intention couldn’t justify discriminatory behaviour in the direction of minorities”.
Final yr, Method 1 responded to Piquet’s remarks in an announcement.
“Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any type and has no half in society.
Lewis is an unbelievable ambassador for our sport and deserves respect,” the assertion learn.
“His tireless efforts to extend variety and inclusion are a lesson to many and one thing we’re dedicated to at F1.”
Hamilton’s group, Mercedes, have been additionally fast to slam Piquet’s feedback.
“We condemn within the strongest phrases any use of racist or discriminatory language of any variety,” the assertion learn.
“Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to fight racism, and he’s a real champion of variety on and off the monitor.
“Collectively, we share a imaginative and prescient for a various and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underlines the basic significance of continuous to try for a brighter future.”