Nelson Piquet faces 3 YEARS in prison for 'disgusting' racist slurs against Lewis Hamilton
Nelson Piquet, a three-time Formula One champion, made a racist remark about Lewis Hamilton in a video from November 2021 that shows Piquet repeating the offensive term and adding a homophobic word. The video got spread on social media on June 27 showing Piquet tagging Hamilton a 'neguinho' while criticizing his role in a crash involving Max Verstappen during the 2021 British Grand Prix. And this has led three politicians in Brazil to want him to face legal charges over his racist slurs.
As reported by SMH, the footage shows the F1 champion talking on the Brazilian show ‘Motorsports Talk.’ The copy of the full video has been accessed by the Brazilian website Grande Premio, which claims that while talking about his 1982 championship battle with Keke Rosberg, the 69-year-old Piquet used the slur again, and introduced additional homophobic remarks about Hamilton and Rosberg’s son Nico, who was Hamilton’s partner at Mercedes between 2013 and 2016. Piquet issued an apology to Hamilton a day later before another interview emerged, as claimed by Grande Premio, the F1 champion referred Lewis by the same term. He said, "I apologize 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. Discrimination has no place in F1 or society and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in that respect.”
To which, Hamilton reacted by saying, “It’s more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.”
Twitterati takes stand for Hamilton
Many came in support of Hamilton and bashed Piquet for his racist remarks. One of them wrote, "I worked with Lewis Hamilton very closely for 5 years when he & I were at McLaren. He’s an absolutely brilliant #F1 driver & a truly great man. He does a huge amount for diversity & inclusivity. By contrast Nelson Piquet Sr disgusts me. #WeRaceAsOne. That’s it. That’s the tweet." Another wrote, "What if Lewis Hamilton just tweeted ‘Who the fuck is Nelson Piquet?’ then closed twitter."
I worked with Lewis Hamilton very closely for 5 years when he & I were at McLaren. He’s an absolutely brilliant #F1 driver & a truly great man. He does a huge amount for diversity & inclusivity. By contrast Nelson Piquet Sr disgusts me. #WeRaceAsOne. That’s it. That’s the tweet. pic.twitter.com/SZOnbp0Y2J— Matt Bishop 🏳️🌈 (@TheBishF1) June 28, 2022
What if Lewis Hamilton just tweeted ‘Who the fuck is Nelson Piquet?’ then closed twitter— Harry (@formularaducanu) June 28, 2022
Legal action against Piquet
As per Express, three Brazilian MPs are working to send him to prison after lodging a formal complaint with prosecutors in Brasilia. They want Piquet to be charged for his racist comments, but it's unclear whether an investigation into the controversy has begun. The group consists of Aurea Carolina, Taliria Petrone and Vivi Reis, representing the left-wing Socialism and Liberty Party, who took the case to prosecutors, who are yet to comment. Meanwhile, former teacher Petrone, who represents Rio de Janeiro said, "Racism, which structures our society, needs to be fought everywhere."
Reports further state that specialist lawyer Renan Gandolfi believes Piquet could face up to three years in prison and a hefty fine if a criminal probe is launched and he's convicted.