BRDC suspend Piquet’s honorary member status

Jamie Woodhouse
F1 World Champion Nelson Piquet at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

F1 World Champion Nelson Piquet at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Following his controversial comments relating to Lewis Hamilton, Nelson Piquet has been suspended as a BRDC honorary member.

Formula 1 has arrived at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, the circuit which is owned by the British Racing Drivers’ Club.

And a major talking point in the lead up to the event has been the racial slur which Piquet used in reference to seven-time World Champion Hamilton, though Piquet has denied that this was his intent when using the term.

Nonetheless, Piquet has been widely condemned throughout the Formula 1 community, and the BRDC has now taken action by suspending the three-time World Champion’s status as an honorary member.

Furthermore, the BRDC expects the next stage of action to be termination of Piquet’s status.

A statement reads: “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.

“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-time 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.

“Following the Club’s due process, it is anticipated that the Board will terminate Mr Piquet Sr’s membership at a board meeting to be held after the required seven-day notice period.”

Following the emergence of Piquet’s comments, Hamilton had taken to social media, saying this type of behaviour had been present throughout his life, also posting in Portuguese on Twitter, saying: “Let’s focus on changing the mindset.”

“It’s more than language,” he continued on social media. “These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.”


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