Former F1 world champion fined over $950,000 for RACIST comments against Lewis Hamilton  

Former F1 world champion fined over $950,000 for RACIST comments against Lewis Hamilton  

Former F1 world champion fined over $950,000 for RACIST comments against Lewis Hamilton. Image: Cristiano Barni

Court in Brazil has fined three-time F1 world champion Nelson Piquet for using racist derogatory language to describe Lewis Hamilton  

Former Formula One driver and three-time champion Nelson Piquet has been fined 5 million Brazilian reals (roughly $950,000 or €890,000) for using ‘racist derogatory language’ describing British driver Lewis Hamilton during an interview.  

The comments were passed by Piquet during an interview in 2021. Piquet also reportedly used ‘racist and homophobic’ language during another interview while speaking about Hamilton.  

According to DW, Piquet has been ordered to pay the fine “in collective moral damages, to be allocated to funds for the promotion of racial equality and against discrimination of the LGBTQIA+ community”.  

Famous for being recognised as one of the best Formula One drivers in the 1980s, Piquet won world championships with Brabham and Williams.  

Legal actions were taken against him by several human rights groups, including Brazil’s National LGBT+ Alliance, who argue that comments passed by the former F1 driver “violated the norms of human dignity as described in Brazil’s constitution”.  

Piquet later issued an apology for his comments which have been criticized internationally.  

During a statement he said that he “regretted using the ill-thought-out racial term”, adding, it was “one that has widely and historically been used colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for guy or person and was never intended to offend”.  

During the hearing in the case, Judge Pedro Matos de Arruda announced his decision and said that “subtlety is one of the characteristics of contemporary Brazilian racism” and that the word is “not an affectionate nickname”.  

He added, “Piquet had implied that if Hamilton had not been gay, he would have won the championship. Therefore, being gay would be a negative characteristic”.


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Written by

Imran Khan

A journalist, content professional, and former TEDx Speaker based in Tarragona (Spain), with a Master's in International Journalism (Cardiff, UK). Imran is an online reporter for The Euro Weekly News and covers international as well as Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at