By Chris King • 16 July 2022 • 21:40
Image of former F1 driver Nelson Piquet.
Credit: Wikipedia - By Página 3 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagina3/9710696646/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29708346
Brazilian Formula One legend Nelson Piquet has been ordered to appear in court in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Felipe Costa da Fonseca Gomes of the Distrito Federal court has initiated an investigation into the three-time world champion.
This comes after the 69-year-old was heard using Brazilian-Portuguese racist language as well as a homophobic slur while talking in a documentary about British F1 driver, Lewis Hamilton. Piquet originally appeared in the podcast last November, where he used the N-word in reference to Hamilton.
Piquet apologised for his use of the racist slur, attempting to validate that it had been mistranslated and was a word used regularly in his country that did not have any racial connotations. His comments upset a human rights group which subsequently pressed charges against him. They claimed the Brazilian had caused moral damage to black and LGBTQ+ people.
Their charge also includes a claim for around d £1.5m in damages from Piquet, who now has 15 days to state his case to judge Felipe Costa da Fonseca Gomes, as reported by mirror.co.uk.
The incident in question came while Piquet was talking about a crash that occurred in last year’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone. It involved Hamilton and the Dutch Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who has been dating the Brazilian’s daughter for the last few years.
F1 chiefs and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team were quick to condemn the comments made by the former champion. “Discriminatory language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society”, stated an F1 spokesperson.
“We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind. Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off track”, added a spokesperson for Mercedes.
Taking to his official Twitter profile, the British seven-time F1 world champion posted: “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”.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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