Nelson Piquet is summoned to a state case in federal court in Brazil after allegations of racist and homophobic language

Charges brought by human rights groups call for Piquet to pay 10m Brazilian reals (£1.56m) over alleged moral harm to black and LGBTQ+ people; footage emerged of Piquet using a perceived homophobic slur against Lewis Hamilton, along with racial slurs

Last update: 12/07/22 07:30


A Brazilian judge on Monday ordered an investigation into allegations that retired Formula One driver Nelson Piquet used racist and homophobic slurs at Lewis Hamilton.

The charges were brought by four human rights groups, who want three-time world champion Piquet to pay 10m Brazilian reals (£1.56m) over alleged moral harm against black and LGBTQ+ people.

Piquet will have 15 days to state his case to judge Felipe Costa da Fonseca Gomes of the Federal District Court. He did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

An interview with the Brazilian from last year emerged in which he twice used a racial slur in Portuguese when referring to Hamilton.

The 69-year-old was discussing the collision between Hamilton and Max Verstappen during the 2021 British GP, with the comments re-emerging on social media ahead of the first anniversary of the crash.

“To [racist term] put his car there to hit him on purpose,” Piquet said.

Asked later if he thought Hamilton wouldn’t make the shot at Copse, Piquet went on to say: “He? Never!

“He wanted to get it out no matter the cost [racist term] he left the car there to hit him.

“It’s because you don’t know that curve. It’s too fast, and two cars can’t pass. There’s no way two cars can pass side by side there. It was a dirty trick!

“He’s just lucky the only other guy gave up.”

This led to widespread condemnation from across the F1 paddock, Formula 1 and the FIA, with Hamilton himself calling for “action” and insisting “archaic mindsets must change and have no place in our sport”.

In person before the British GP, Hamilton gave a passionate and dignified response to Piquet’s comments.

“I’ve been on the receiving end of racism, criticism, negativity, archaic narratives and undertones of discrimination for a long time, and there’s nothing particularly new to me,” said the seven-time F1 champion. “It’s more about the bigger picture.

“I don’t know why we keep giving a platform to these older voices.

Lewis Hamilton has hit back at comments made by Nelson Piquet and thinks the 'older voices' in motorsport should not be given a platform as they do not represent the majority.

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Lewis Hamilton has hit back at comments made by Nelson Piquet and thinks the ‘older voices’ in motorsport should not be given a platform as they do not represent the majority.

Lewis Hamilton has hit back at comments made by Nelson Piquet and thinks the ‘older voices’ in motorsport should not be given a platform as they do not represent the majority.

“They are talking about our sport and we are looking to go somewhere completely different. If we want to grow in the US, other countries, South Africa, we have to look to the future and give young people a platform. , who are more representative of today’s time.

“It’s not just about one individual, it’s not about just using that term, it’s the bigger picture.”

Lewis Hamilton shares how he deals with abuse and shares his advice for young people who may be going through similar situations

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Lewis Hamilton shares how he deals with abuse and shares his advice for young people who may be going through similar situations

Lewis Hamilton shares how he deals with abuse and shares his advice for young people who may be going through similar situations

A day before Hamilton spoke, Piquet had released his own statement, wanting to “clear the stories”.

He apologized “wholeheartedly” to Hamilton but “strongly condemns any suggestion” he racially abused the Formula 1 world champion, claiming his comments had been mistranslated.

“What I said was poorly thought out and I make no defense about it,” Piquet said.

“But I will clarify that the term used is a term that has been widely and historically used in the Brazilian Portuguese language as a synonym for ‘boy’ or ‘person’ and was never meant 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 to denigrate a driver because of the color of his skin.

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart to anyone affected, including Lewis, who is an incredible driver, but the translation in some of the media 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 this regard.”

Further footage also emerged of Piquet using a perceived homophobic slur against Hamilton, along with racial slurs when speaking on a podcast last year.

Speaking on the podcast, Piquet said: “Keke (Rosberg) was s***. He’s worthless. His son won a championship.”

Asked if he was referring to Nico, he said of Hamilton: “The [racist term] it must be [perceived homophobic slur] in that time. He was very bad.”

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