Former Brazilian racing driver Nelson Piquet has been fined for racist and homophobic insults against British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton. The three-time world champion has to pay five million reais (884,000 euros) to organizations that fight discrimination against blacks and homosexuals, a court in Brasília said on Friday.

Piquet racially insulted Hamilton in an interview in 2021. He later issued a public apology to Hamilton but claimed he had been misunderstood. The term he uses is not a derogatory term for black people, but stands for “guy” or “person” in Brazilian Portuguese.

The court did not accept that. “Subtlety is one of the characteristics of modern Brazilian racism,” the verdict said. In another interview, Piquet homophobically insulted Hamilton.

The background to Piquet’s derogatory statements was an accident between Mercedes driver Hamilton and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen at the Silverstone race in 2021. According to Piquet, Hamilton’s mistake was the reason. The previously leading Verstappen was eliminated, Hamilton won the Grand Prix despite a time penalty. Piquet is the father of Verstappen’s partner.

There is currently unrest, especially within the Red Bull racing team. According to Timo Glock, the stable duel will even lead to friction in the Formula 1 world championship fight. Tensions between the victorious Sergio Pérez and defending champion Verstappen were already noticeable last Sunday evening in Jeddah. Pérez had complained about the communication. He got other information.

Defending champion Max Verstappen had robbed the Mexican of the point for the fastest race lap in the last lap. Verstappen also maintained his lead in the world championship rankings by finishing second at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“Sergio Pérez will not get involved in any topic in which he will have to support Verstappen in the future. I’m sure of it,” Glock wrote in his column for the pay channel “Sky” and gave the reason for his assumption: “Because the Mexican sees his chance to fight for the title with Verstappen.”

After the impressions of the first two races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the two Red Bull rivals can only beat themselves for the time being.