Motor racing-Hamilton welcomes court judgement against Piquet

Formula One F1 - Australian Grand Prix - Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia - March 30, 2023 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton arriving at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit REUTERS/Darrian Traynor

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton praised Brazilian authorities for handing triple Formula One champion Nelson Piquet a huge fine for using racist and homophobic language in comments about the Mercedes driver.

A Brazilian court last week ordered Piquet to pay 5 million Brazilian reals ($953,050) in "moral damages" for remarks about Hamilton in interviews in 2021 and 2016.

"I still believe that we generally shouldn’t be giving people that are just full of hate a platform,” Briton Hamilton told reporters at Albert Park ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

"I’d like to acknowledge the Brazil government, I think it’s pretty amazing what they’ve done in holding someone accountable, showing people that that is not tolerated.

"Racism and homophobia is not acceptable, and there is no place for it within our society. So I love that they’ve shown that they stand for something."

Brazilian Piquet, 70, apologised to seven-times world champion Hamilton last year and said he had been mistranslated by some media.

Hamilton, who was recently awarded honorary Brazilian citizenship, is the sport's only Black driver.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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