Piquet fined by Brazilian court for racist and homophobic Hamilton comments

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In the round-up: Nelson Piquet has been fined five million Brazilian Reals (£780,000) after a judge deemed he had made racist and homophobic comments about Lewis Hamilton in late 2021.

In brief

Piquet fined for racist and homophobic Hamilton comments

The 1981, 1983 and 1987 world champion apologised to Hamilton for the comments that were circulated widely on social media last June.

Formula 1, the FIA and Hamilton’s fellow drivers including Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo and George Russell all denounced Piquet’s offensive comments. Piquet was banned indefinitely from the F1 paddock as a result.

The BBC reported that after charges were brought against Piquet by four Brazilian human rights groups, Judge Pedro Matos de Arrudo ruled Piquet must pay five million Brazilian Reals “so that, as a society, we can someday be free from the pernicious acts that are racism and homophobia.”

Lag ends Verstappen and Palou’s iRacing Sebring 12 Hours

Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen and 2021 IndyCar series champion Alex Palou suffered a frustrating early retirement from the lead of the GTD class of the iRacing Sebring 12 Hour top split.

The two champions teamed up for Team Redline in a Ferrari 488 and led the GTD class for the first hour of the race. However, a bizarre incident involving the number 192 URANO eSports GTP prototype car saw the number 101 Team Redline Ferrari suffer damage despite the two cars appearing to not make contact on replays. The apparent lag problems left Verstappen with a black-and-orange mechanical damage flag, being forced to retire the car due to the extent of the damage

Verstappen had won ten consecutive ranked iRacing races at Sebring earlier in the week in preparation for the special event, including beating Palou during one competition.

IndyCar game delayed beyond 2023

The officially licensed IndyCar Series game will not release in 2023 as originally scheduled, publishers Motorsport Games has announced.

Motorsport Games acquired the IndyCar license in 2021 and announced plans to release the first entry in a new IndyCar franchise this season. However, in a recent earnings call, the company reported significant financial problems.

“Based on this cash and cash equivalents position, and the company’s average cash burn, we do not believe we have sufficient cash on hand to fund our operations for the remainder of 2023 and that additional funding will be required in order to continue operations,” Motorsport Games said.

CEO Dmitry Kozko said the company “continue to make strides in our development efforts but we do not believe we will be in a satisfactory position to release it to the community this year. The IndyCar community has not had a dedicated IndyCar game in over a decade and we want to make sure that our IndyCar game is on par with other major racing games out there.”

IndyCar content is no longer officially allowed to be used for special events in iRacing due to Motorsport Games’ exclusive deal coming into effect this year.

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Comment of the day

With Formula 1 explaining how it plans to more sustainable fuel from 2026, @bullfrog spots a potential loophole with one of the new fuel’s unusual sources…

Potato peelings? Fuel can go in the catering budget then.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alianora La Canta, Fallon, Henrique Pinheiro, Jake, Jorge H., Lyndell D Wolff and Lyndell D Wolff!

On this day in motorsport

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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44 comments on “Piquet fined by Brazilian court for racist and homophobic Hamilton comments”

  1. Who is Nelson Piquet?

    1. Guy who did best overtake ever. Now go and cancel that.

      1. Whoooosh.

        1. I noticed they had problems to overtake slower cars without DRS Those overtakes would destroy his tyres very fast if done now :)

          1. And that’s a good reason to have better tyres in F1, races now are only managing exercises, cars rarely, if ever, attack, they are only runnings slow as fast as posible.

        2. +1 Another example why we don’t need DRS. If done now we it would have been a simple DRS overtake on the straight and nobody defends because they have to manage the tyres.

  2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    26th March 2023, 4:16

    Fancy that! A kangaroo court fining a former F1 champion in the run up to the Australian Grand Prix.

    1. @jackisthestig you’re calling the federal court of the state of Brasilia a “kangaroo court”?

      1. Brazil is banana republic crippled by widespread corruption. The current president was convicted of crime, yet he’s again the president. Why? Because Brazil does the bidding of the world’s ruling cabal.

        1. I would HIGHLY doubt that the current Brazillian president would be picked to do the bidding of any such Cabal if it existed André.

          If anything, they would probably rather support a guy like the last president of Brazil. Whom Piquet was rather close to in views and behaviour.

          1. Only right wing people are corrupt. Got it.

            This partisan position is the reason corruption is so rampant!!

        2. André, this sort of rhetoric sounds disturbingly similar to the anti-Semitic rhetoric being spread by elements of the extreme right, which likes to claim a secret Jewish cabal runs the world and manipulates governments into doing their bidding.

  3. People still care about that old matter?

    Loophole, maybe, we’ll see eventually.

  4. It must be nice to live in a country where your racists and homophones get fined in court rather than, say, being given a newspaper column or ministerial office.

    1. Bolsonaro was just their president as of five minutes ago. So, let’s not get carried away.

      Not a big fan of woke or screaming realism over little stuff, but remember that awful piece Mark Hughes wrote about Hamilton very early on in Hamilton’s career? IIRC, it followed some imaginary conversation with Hamilton talking like a thug or something idiotic and clearly race driven like that. I’m sure any Brits here will remember/know exactly what I’m talking about. Never heard much or anything about in the American press.

      1. racism* (realism? thx autocorrect 🤦‍♂️)

        1. I’m a big fan of realism though ))

        1. @seth-space + Nick T.
          I had to look it up too and only found that reddit thread. I wasn’t sure those quotes from the article weren’t made up, they were so bad. They are quite staggering to read now, perhaps a sign that most F1 journalism has moved forward over recent years. You can still sense the resentment among some journalists, though, that they’ve been forced to adapt by public and peer pressure.

          1. Yeah, they are staggering and not just now either. He rightly got a lot of blowback back then too. He is incredibly lucky SM was in its infancy back then and that they did a good job of wiping it from the net.

          2. Self-correction. I just saw the article was from 2012. I thought it had occurred earlier. SM was no longer in its infancy. Surprised his reputation didn’t get way more damage.

        2. Thanks for finding it. That’s the definition of someone exposing a completely lack of self-awareness and feel for satire (or humor) and a condescending, out of touch world view. If Lewis literally spoke like Ali G, I’d get it. But this seemed to just be solely based on his color and that upon leaving McLaren he shed a bit of his super clean cut image with some questionable fashion choice. He tries to use the excuse that Lewis spoke like this on Twitter, which wasn’t even slightly true.

        3. Come on, is this article real? How did he get away with that?
          That’s really surprising as, in everything I’ve read, Hughes comes across as a thoughtful, serious student of F1

          1. Since then Hughes works as a Hamilton’s apologizer and cheerleader for life as an apology tho.

          2. Hughes is a great storyteller indeed and a professional at manipulating the facts to suit his narrative.

        4. I’d never seen that article before.


      2. Since then Hughes works as a Hamilton’s cheerleader for life as an apology tho.
        And it wasn’t actually even ‘early on’ in Hamilton’s career actually.

  5. Respect is optional, discrimination is not.

  6. It’s a huge stain on Piquet’s reputation and a well-deserved fine given the fact that the racial slur was very much intended, spoken by someone who believes himself to be in a social ‘elite’ and above being called to account.

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      26th March 2023, 15:03

      Nelson Piquet is a huge stain on Piquet’s reputation

      1. Good point yeah @justarandomdutchguy. The way Piquet behaves is indeed the biggest detractor from how good a driver he used to be.

      2. Like son, like father…

  7. According to Franco Nugnes of Motorsport Italy the FIA have notified the teams that the anti-porpoising metric introduced in the TD039 has been removed. The news hasn’t been yet made public but this U-turn is even more absurd than the initial knee-jerk reaction to porpoising after Mercedes lobbying. This development can reshuffle the order midseason by bringing Ferrari more to the front.

  8. When a guy repeteadly refers to Hamilton who, liking him or not, is the most succesful driver ever, by ‘little black guy” or something like that and mentions every single other driver by name, it’s clearly intentional.

    Probably wont ever forgive Hamilton for showing how unprepared and slow his son was.

  9. I don’t know how much I would own to human rights group for what I have said from the sofa over the years

  10. I’m glad Piquet was fined for the comments, should be something that happens more often that people are held responsible for the words they put out online. I’m all for free speech but not freedom from consequence.

  11. i see that the brazilian government is on its way to the same level as communist USSR and CCP china. the current president is a socialist/communist and has begun its journey towards totalitarian communist rule like the soviets, cubans and CCCP chinese, where the government controls the speech of the common people.
    Piquet’s words may be hurtful for -some- overly sensitive groups, but he is entitled to speak freely. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom FROM speech. if you don’t like what people are saying, you can choose to ignore them. but to fine/penalize them for their opinion is wrong.

    1. +1 Piquet said stupid things but it only made him look stupid. Freedom of speech is also the freedom to say stupid things.

      1. He is free to to say it and to reap the consequences.
        Freedom doesn’t mean irresponsible and using offensive language.
        No sanctions legitimises the use of such language to people following the words of a champion.
        And we know that’s how everything radical starts.
        The verdict is a simple reminder that if you put down someone by discrimination you are not naking this world a better place.
        Your Freedom stops where your neighbour s starts.

        1. Perfectly said.

        2. Freedom of speech doesn’t work that way you can’t have it both and expect people will only say what you like.
          What is next ban Monty Python’s Life of Brian because it’s blasphemy? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Python%27s_Life_of_Brian

          or more recent in Brasil

          But this is a F1 site so maybe not the place to discuss the Freedom of Speech.

          1. It is not about what I like, or you like, it is about what the law likes.

            And most grown ups agree that being mean is not a value that should be celebrated.

            So Piquet was mean and got his ear pulled.

            If your values are free speech means insulting or discriminating is fine then next time you are in the streets and someone verbally agresses you for one if your physical features or whatever stereotype you fit into, will you reply : thanks for using your freedom of speech?

Comments are closed.