Nelson Piquet, three-time world champion in Formula 1, has to pay a hefty fine for racist and homophobic comments about Lewis Hamilton. Four human rights organizations had charged the 70-year-old Piquet. A Brazilian court ruled that Max Verstappen’s father-in-law must pay compensation of almost 900,000 euros. That money goes to funds that are committed to equality and inclusiveness.
Piquet is said to have made offensive comments about Hamilton in a podcast that was recorded in November 2021, but only came out last year. Piquet gave his opinion on the collision between Hamilton and Verstappen in the Grand Prix of Great Britain. Verstappen, who has a relationship with Piquet’s daughter Kelly, crashed hard and even had to go to hospital for an examination.
Piquet used a word about Hamilton in the podcast that is considered racist in Brazil. He himself denied that it was intended that way. In a fragment that surfaced later, Piquet also made homophobic comments about the British driver who won seven world titles.
Verstappen: “Absolutely not a racist”
The Brazilian, world champion in 1981, 1983 and 1987, apologized for his “ill-considered” comments. The organization of Formula 1 and the international motorsport federation FIA condemned the Brazilian’s statements. Hamilton called it “an old-fashioned way of thinking that deserves no place in our sport”.
Verstappen stood up for his father-in-law. “I know Nelson well and have spent a lot of time with him and he is absolutely not a racist,” said the Dutchman when the case came out last summer. “He’s a nice and laid-back guy, but he shouldn’t have used that word. It is insulting and certainly in the current time that is no longer possible.”