LEWIS HAMILTON has praised the decision to fine Nelson Piquet for his racist and homophobic language.
It was confirmed earlier this week that three-time F1 world champion Piquet, 70, has been slapped with a £780,000 fine after footage emerged of his remarks about Hamilton in a 2021 interview.
Lewis Hamilton has commented on the Nelson Piquet fine
Piquet’s horrid racist and homophobic language has seen him receive a fine
Piquet was commenting on Hamilton’s British Grand Prix crash with Max Verstappen, who is dating Piquet’s daughter, Kelly.
The decision was made by a Brazilian court after charges were brought against Piquet by four human rights groups.
Now Hamilton, who became an honorary citizen of Brazil last year, has given his response to the punishment.
Speaking in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open Grand Prix this weekend, he said: “Back when it happened I made comments on it – I still believe that we generally shouldn’t be giving people that are just full of hate a platform.
“I’d like to acknowledge the Brazil government. I think it’s pretty amazing what they have done in holding someone accountable, showing people that it’s not tolerated.”
Piquet, who was also seen using racist and homophobic language when discussing Hamilton’s 2016 title loss to Nico Rosberg, has apologised to the Mercedes driver, but also insisted his words were mistranslated.
Hamilton is the only black driver in F1.
He went on to add: “Racism and homophobia is not acceptable and there is no place for it within our society.
CASINO SPECIAL – BEST NEW CUSTOMER SIGN UP DEALS
“I love that they (the Brazilian government) have shown that they stand for something.
“I wish that more governments out there would do that, such as you’ve just seen in Uganda, and there are other countries in Africa and the Middle East – there’s a lot of that can be learned from that.”
In his decision, Judge Pedro Matos de Arrudo said the amount of compensation was given “in the sense that one should not only appreciate the reparative function of civil liability but also (and perhaps mainly) the punitive function so that, as a society, we can someday be free from the pernicious acts that are racism and homophobia”.
Meanwhile, Hamilton is preparing for the third race of the 2023 season in Australia this weekend.
He has managed back-to-back fifth places in the opening two Grands Prix in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
But Mercedes are still a long way off the pace set by Red Bull.