LONDON, June 30 — Nelson Piquet was today suspended as an honorary member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) for his use of racist language towards Lewis Hamilton in a Brazilian podcast last year.

The BRDC, a non-profit organisation, which owns the Silverstone circuit that hosts this weekend’s British Grand Prix, said in a statement that Piquet’s language was inappropriate and unacceptable.

“The BRDC board of directors has noted that, in a Brazilian podcast last November, Nelson Piquet Senior, an honorary member of the BRDC, described Lewis Hamilton using a racially offensive expression in Portuguese,” said the statement.

“The apology issued yesterday by Mr Piquet Sr has also been noted.

“In view of the BRDC’s zero-tolerance policy towards any act involving or suggesting racism, the BRDC board has concluded that Mr Piquet Sr’s use of racially offensive language to describe a fellow BRDC member (and seven-times world champion) is unacceptable and represents conduct that is wholly inappropriate for an honorary member of the BRDC, notwithstanding his subsequent apology.

“Accordingly, we have advised Mr Piquet Sr that his membership has been suspended with immediate effect.” Piquet’s suspension follows a Formula One decision that the 69-year-old three-time champion will no longer be welcome in the paddock at future events. — AFP