Three-time F1 World Champion Nelson Piquet has reportedly been unsuccessful in his appeal to overturn his fine issued for racist and homophobic comments he made about Lewis Hamilton.
A court case was brought against the former F1 racer by four human rights groups, including Brazil’s LGBTQ+ Alliance, in response to multiple interviews emerging where Piquet had used racial slurs against seven-time World Champion Hamilton.
The first instance came from a November 2021 interview when discussing Hamilton’s crash at Silverstone with Max Verstappen, who is in a relationship with Nelson’s daughter Kelly Piquet, during their tense title fight.
A separate interview then surfaced, dating back to 2016, in which Piquet was heard using racist and homophobic language against Hamilton when discussing him losing out on the 2016 title to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Piquet was quick to apologise when the comments came to light and stress that he had no intention of racially abusing Hamilton, though a court in his native Brazil moved to fine him 5,000,000 Brazilian Reals (£780,000) in ‘moral damages’.
And it is reported by Globo that Piquet has failed in his appeal of the verdict, meaning that fine stands.
Piquet previously made a statement of apology in which he attempted to clarify that the term used was not intended as racial abuse.
“What I said was ill thought out, and I make no defence for it,” Piquet said last year.
“But I will clarify that the term used is 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.
“I would never use the word I have been accused of in some translations. I strongly condemn any suggestion that the word was used by me with the aim of belittling a driver because of his skin colour.
“I apologise wholeheartedly to anyone that was affected, including Lewis, who is an incredible driver, but the translation in some media that is now circulating on social media is not correct.
“Discrimination has no place in F1 or society and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in that respect.”
Piquet has nonetheless been absent from the Formula 1 paddock since, with his access suspended indefinitely after news of his comments came to light.
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