The ridiculously huge nearly $1 million fine levied against Nelson Piquet by a Brazilian court for his offensive remarks towards fellow Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has now been annulled half a year later.
Piquet is now off the hook, as originally reported by Brazilian online outlet Metropoles.
The lawyer representing one of the groups behind the original legal action against Piquet said the decision was not surprising, but one rooted in principles of “19th century Brazil”, and vowed to lodge an immediate appeal with the Supreme Federal Court, the highest court of law in the country.
March 25, 2023
Nelson Piquet must pay $953,050 in moral damages for racist and homophobic comments against Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, a Brazilian court ruled on Friday.
Piquet, 70, apologized to the British driver and said his comments had been mistranslated.
In his decision, Judge Pedro Matos de Arrudo said the amount of compensation was given “in the sense that one should not only appreciate the reparative function of civil liability but also (and perhaps mainly) the punitive function so that, as a society, we can someday be free from the pernicious acts that are racism and homophobia”.
June 30, 2022
(GMM) F1 legend Nelson Piquet says he was not being racist when he called fellow multiple world champion Lewis Hamilton an ‘N-word’.
The world of Formula 1 reacted in disgust when Brazilian Piquet, whose daughter Kelly is dating Hamilton’s 2021 title rival Max Verstappen, was quoted as referred to the Mercedes driver as “neguinho”.
It is believed Piquet, 69, will be banned from the F1 paddock as a result.
“What I said was thoughtless, and I am not defending it,” he said amid the backlash.
“But I want to clarify that the term used in Brazilian Portuguese has been widely and historically used in colloquial terms as a synonym for ‘guy’ or ‘person’.
“I would never use the word I have been accused of in some translations,” he insisted.
Piquet said he apologizes to everyone “including Lewis”, who he says is “an incredible driver”.
“discrimination has no place in Formula 1 or society, and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in that regard.”