Nelson Piquet was taken to court for being racist and homophobic towards Lewis Hamilton during a public interview in 2021.
Nelson Piquet’s fine for referring to Lewis Hamilton as a “neguinho” – which means “little Black man” in English – has been cancelled by the Court of Justice of the Federal District and Territories.
Piquet was originally fined £817,000 for his foul remarks towards the seven-time World Champion, which were brought against the Brazilian in court by various human rights groups.
Formula 1 also condemned the three-time World Champion’s comments and banned him from the paddock, something which remains in place.
Piquet’s argument from the get-go was that his comments towards Hamilton had no racial context or were intended as racism, as it’s a term informally used in Brazil.
Hamilton, of course, became an Honorary Brazilian citizen ahead of last season’s Brazilian Grand Prix, with the nation meaning an incredible amount to him.
Piquet’s argument was at first rejected by the country’s legal system, as his comments were also judged to be homophobic.
He was therefore fined five million Brazilian reals, which is the equivalent of £817,000.
However, it’s now been reported by Brazilian online outlet Metropoles that the fine has been cancelled.
Interestingly, Piquet’s original appeal was rejected, with his language used towards Hamilton now being judged as a mockery, rather than hate speech.
Piquet’s argument as to why he used the word “neguinho” was accepted by the court, who have subsequently cancelled the fine as a result.
The court also agreed that the Brazilian’s other homophobic comment which means “giving ass” wasn’t actually homophobic, as it’s also possible in a heterosexual relationship.
Both incidents being overturned hasn’t come as a shock to one of the human rights groups’ lawyers, who slammed Brazil’s “19th century” principles.
The cancellation of the fine is being appealed by the human rights groups to the highest court of law in the South American nation, the Supreme Federal Court.
With the Brazilian GP only being a few weeks away, the case will likely be a talking point in the coming weeks, especially next weekend at the United States Grand Prix.
Whether Hamilton will answer any questions regarding the matter is unknown, although the news of the fine being cancelled for the time being will likely leave him disappointed.