The Formula 1 world has witnessed a flurry of developments in recent days.
Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has managed to avoid imprisonment for tax fraud, while Lance Stroll has issued a written apology to the FIA and received a warning regarding his recent behavior. Additionally, the governing body is reconsidering Lewis Hamilton’s EUR 50,000 fine for crossing the track in Qatar.
“In light of his role as a role model, the FIA is concerned about the potential impact of his actions on younger drivers,” confirmed an FIA spokesperson.
Amidst this stream of news, it has come to light that a Brazilian court has overturned the EUR 900,000 fine imposed on triple world champion Nelson Piquet for alleged racist and homophobic remarks directed at Hamilton.
According to the Brasilia newspaper Metropoles, a federal court of justice unanimously nullified the conviction for ‘moral damages’ against Piquet, whose daughter Kelly is in a relationship with fellow triple world champion Max Verstappen.
The judge ruled, “There is no demonstration of hate speech.”
The judge, Aiston Henrique de Sousa, also dismissed the supposed homophobic nature of Piquet’s comments on his podcast, noting that “these comments could also apply to sexual practices between a man and a woman. Thus, the occurrence of hate speech against homosexuals cannot be inferred from this.”
Social justice groups that had taken legal action against the 71-year-old Piquet now appear poised to elevate the case to the Supreme Court.
“We will immediately file an appeal,” announced an official from one such group, Educafro.
“We are not surprised by the decision because, unfortunately, prejudice and discrimination continue to persist within Brazilian institutions.”