In November 2021, Piquet said a mean thing about Hamilton while they were talking on a Brazilian podcast. He then felt bad and apologized, saying he didn’t mean it and he should have thought better before he said it.
He said that he did not mean to hurt anyone when he used a certain word which is commonly used in Brazil as a substitute for ‘guy’ or ‘person’. But four organisations fighting for human rights, including the Brazilian LGBT+ Alliance, sued him for 10 million reals in damages.
On Friday, the court in Brazil’s capital city, Brasilia, ruled that Piquet must pay 5 million reals (the equivalent of $950,000). The judge said this was so society could get rid of racism and homophobia. That money will help punish people who do wrong and repair any harm done by those acts.
When Piquet said something that a lot of people thought was wrong, Hamilton wrote on social media: “We can’t have these kinds of opinions in our sport. I’ve had to deal with this kind of thing my entire life.”
Lewis Hamilton, a driver of Mercedes-AMG said that we need to get rid of old beliefs or attitudes in sports. He mentioned that he has experienced these kinds of attitudes throughout his life and it’s time now to take action against them.
In response to this statement, Piquet (who is 70) was banned from entering the F1 paddock and also suspended from being an honorary member of the British BRDC. However, he does have the right to dispute the court’s decision.
Lewis Hamilton is the only Black driver in Formula 1 and he is also the first ever Black world champion. He has put lots of work into making motorsport more accessible to everyone, especially those from underrepresented groups such as Black people. To help with this mission, Lewis created The Hamilton Commission which was dedicated to researching how many Black people are involved in motorsport currently.
Based on the report from before, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes-Benz started the Ignite charity. The goal of this charity is to help people from less represented communities get involved in STEM education. This also goes hand-in-hand with Hamilton’s own Mission 44 foundation.
Last year, just before the Sao Paulo Grand Prix (a type of race), Lewis was officially made an honorary citizen of Brazil.