Nelson Piquet ‘to appear in Brazilian court over racist and homophobic abuse at Lewis Hamilton and faces £1.5m fine’

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NELSON PIQUET could face a £1.5million fine after a Brazilian judge ordered an investigation into the three-time Formula 1 champion’s racist and homophobic comments aimed at Lewis Hamilton.

The 69-year-old used disgraceful slurs while referencing the British F1 hero during a podcast appearance last November.

His words came to light before the British Grand Prix earlier this month and subsequently saw him barred from the paddock.

According to the Mirror, a human rights group have pressed charges against Piquet – citing “moral damage to black and LGBTQ+ people”.

The Brazilian has apologised for his despicable words, but will now have 15 days to communicate his case to Felipe Costa da Fonseca Gomes of the Distrito Federal court.

Piquet could be ordered to pay £1.5m in damages.

F1 condemned his comments as “unacceptable in any form and has no part in society”.

While Hamilton, 37, said prior to the British GP: “I have been on the receiving end on racism and that negative and archaic narratives and undertones of discrimination.

“I am not sure why we are continuing to give these older people a platform.

“They are speaking on the sport but we are looking to go in a different direction. It’s the bigger picture.

“It is now a knee-jerk reaction from companies all around the world.

“They probably all already have a script ready for that crisis management. It is not enough. It’s now about action.

“We need more than ever to be bringing people together. It is not helpful the comments we are seeing from these people. 

“People who are not relevant in the sport for years are trying to bring me down but I am still here.”

Piquet, whose daughter Kelly is dating Hamilton’s rival Max Verstappen, apologised for his words, saying: “What I said was ill thought out, and I make no defence for it, 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.

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