Huge Nelson Piquet fine for offensive Lewis Hamilton remarks now annulled

Sam Cooper
Nelson Piquet

Nelson Piquet has frequently used offensive remarks about fellow F1 drivers.

Nelson Piquet will no longer have to pay for offensive comments made against Lewis Hamilton after a Brazilian judge annulled the fine he was given.

The three-time World Champion was handed a 5 million Brazilian reals (£810,625) fine after labelling Hamilton a “neguinho” in a remark made last year.

But that fine has now been wiped away with the severity of Piquet’s comments being downgraded.

Nelson Piquet’s comments downgraded from hate speech to debauchery

Piquet made the comment when discussing the 2021 crash between Hamilton and his daughter’s boyfriend Max Verstappen that took place at Silverstone.

During a podcast the Brazilian described Hamilton as a “neguinho” which translates to “little black man” and he received widespread condemnation for the remark as well as a banning order from the F1 paddock.

It was not just condemnation he faced but also legal trouble with Piquet being the defendant in a lawsuit filed by Educafro, the Santo Dias Centre for Human Rights of the Archdiocese of São Paulo and the National LGBTI Alliance who alleged that he had used racist and homophobic remarks against Hamilton.

Piquet lost the case with the judge citing the comments as racial discrimination outlined in Brazil’s 2010 Statute of Racial Equality and was ordered by the Brasilia court to pay 5 million Brazilian reals “in collective moral damage.”

The Brazilian’s lawyers appealed the decision, which was initially rejected, but now the Court of Justice of the Federal District and Territories (TJDFT) has annulled the conviction.

According to Brazilian outlet Metropoles, the judge of the case Aiston Henrique de Sousa stated the language was “debauched” but did not use hate speech.

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“There is no demonstration of hate speech. The use of colloquial [informal] language, even if it is inspired by subtle or involuntary racism, even if it is inappropriate, does not bring with it sufficient gravity and relevance to characterise collective damage,” said the magistrate.

Piquet also said Hamilton “must have been giving a lot of ass at the time, he was that bad” as a reason for Hamilton losing the 2016 title to Nico Rosberg but the judge ruled that did not count as a homophobic remark.

“The debauchery carried out by the defendant could also have been the object of sexual practice between a man and a woman, so that one cannot extract from this the occurrence of hate speech against homosexuals.”

It is not the first time Piquet has been offensive to other F1 drivers. In 1988, Piquet called Nigel Mansell an “uneducated blockhead” and called his wife “ugly”.

He also called Ayrton Senna “gay”, a remark he made as late as 2020, as well as labelling Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari as “senile.”

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