Brazilian triple Formula One champion Nelson Piquet has been ordered by a Brazilian court to pay $953,050 (5 million Brazilian Reals) in moral damages for making racist and homophobic comments against Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

In November 2021, Piquet used a racial slur when referring to the seven-time world champion during an interview about Hamilton’s British Grand Prix crash with Max Verstappen. Hamilton called for action to change “archaic mindsets” after footage of the interview surfaced on social media in June. Piquet, 70, apologized to the British driver, claiming his comments had been mistranslated. Piquet’s daughter Kelly is Verstappen’s partner.

In a separate clip, Piquet used racist and homophobic language against Hamilton in a podcast interview when describing how Hamilton missed out on the 2016 championship to Nico Rosberg. Hamilton, the sport’s only Black driver, was awarded honorary Brazilian citizenship in June.

The charges were brought by four human rights groups, including Brazil’s National LGBT+ Alliance, which initially sought 10 million Brazilian Reals for alleged moral damages. In his decision, Judge Pedro Matos de Arrudo emphasized the importance of considering not only the reparative function of civil liability but also the punitive function to help society become free from racism and homophobia.

Source: ESPN