Nelson Piquet Jnr wants F1 return

Piquet kept Briatore's scheme quiet as long as it suited him

Piquet kept Briatore's scheme quiet as long as it suited him

Nelson Piquet Jnr has issued a statement following the Renault verdict in which he tries to wash his hands of the conspiracy.

Rather optimistically, he sets out his case for why he feels he should get an F1 drive in 2010:

I can only hope that a team will recognise how badly I was stifled at Renault and give me an opportunity to show what I promised in my career in F3 and GP2. What can be assured is that there will be no driver in Formula One as determined as me to prove myself.

First, it’s clear that there was indeed something rotten at Renault in 2008, probably in 2009 as well, and possibly before then, too.

Given that Piquet was asked to put his life in jeopardy in the hope it would help Fernando Alonso win a race, it’s no stretch of the imagination to conclude he did not get the equipment or support he needed to prove himself while at the team. This is, after all, the man who finished within 12 points of Lewis Hamilton in GP2 in 2006, with four wins to Hamilton’s five.

So perhaps Piquet hasn’t had a fair chance to do justice to his talents in F1 yet.

Does that mean a team should snap him up for 2010? Absolutely not.

However vulnerable his mental state was at the time (see below for his full statement) it does not excuse the fact that what he, Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds conspired to do was an abhorrent act of cheating with contemptible disregard for the safety of others.

The only reason Piquet doesn’t have a punishment comparable to that of Briatore or Symonds is because the FIA offered him immunity.

The fact it took him nearly 12 months to own to up to what he had done, only doing so once Renault had finally fired him, is a reminder of his own vested interest in going along with the scheme: protecting his place in F1.

He does not deserve to get that place back.

Nelson Piquet Jnr statement:

I am relieved that the FIA investigation has now been concluded. Those now running the Renault F1 Team took the decision, as I did, that it is better that the truth be known and accept the consequences. The most positive thing to come from bringing this to the attention of the FIA is that nothing like it will ever happen again.

I bitterly regret my actions to follow the orders I was given. I wish every day that I had not done it.

I don?t know how far my explanation will go to making people understand because for many being a racing driver is an amazing privilege, as it was for me. All I can tell you is that my situation at Renault turned into a nightmare. Having dreamed of being a Formula One driver and having worked so hard to get there, I found myself at the mercy of Mr Briatore. His true character, which had previously only been known to those he had treated like this in the past, is now known.

Mr Briatore was my manager as well as the team boss, he had my future in his hands but he cared nothing for it. By the time of the Singapore GP he had isolated me and driven me to the lowest point I had ever reached in my life. Now that I am out of that situation I cannot believe that I agreed to the plan, but when it was put to me I felt that I was in no position to refuse. Listening now to Mr Briatore?s reaction to my crash and hearing the comments he has made to the press over the last two weeks it is clear to me that I was simply being used by him then to be discarded and left to ridicule.

I have had to learn some very difficult lessons over the last 12 months and reconsider what is valuable in life. What has not changed is my love for Formula One and hunger to race again. I realise that I have to start my career from zero. I can only hope that a team will recognise how badly I was stifled at Renault and give me an opportunity to show what I promised in my career in F3 and GP2. What can be assured is that there will be no driver in Formula One as determined as me to prove myself.

As my final words on this matter, I would like to repeat that I am so sorry to those who work in Formula One (including the many good people at Renault) the fans and the governing body. I do not expect this to be forgiven or forgotten but at least now people can draw their conclusions based upon what really happened.
Nelson Piquet Jnr

Renault Singapore crash controversy

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139 comments on Nelson Piquet Jnr wants F1 return

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  1. He’s an experienced F1 driver with a very rich father and we have 3 new teams coming in next season who will need a nice cash injection. I think he has a pretty good chance!

    • manatcna said on 21st September 2009, 23:16

      There will be far better drivers than him looking for seats, so I think Piquet hasn’t got a snowballs chance in hell.

      • manatcna said on 21st September 2009, 23:19

        Oh, I see – you think his father will buy him a seat. Well, if he’s wealthy enough it could happen, then Junior could PROVE how bad he really is.

        • How rich is Piquet family? For buying a seat in F1 (if new teams will take pay drivers) you need a lot of money and some sponsorship will help with that. However, most sponsors would like to avoid a cheater being associated with their brand.

          I certanly hope that his time in F1 has come and gone…

      • Clearly Piquet Junior has recieved alot of negative comments on this forum and others with good reason nevertheless didnt Lewis Hamilton find himself in hot water with the race stewards in Australia having been influenced by and choosing to go along with a senior team members side of the story. The crash in Singapore also brings into question the merits of having your own teams manager as your personal manager because of vested interests this has to be an absolute nonsense. I witnessed a formula 3 race at Rockingham several years ago which Piquet Junior won, he was without doubt the class driver in the field that day, I also recall him topping the test times during an F1 test session at Silverstone on the 21st September 2006 driving a Renault (possibly Alonsos car). The point is you dont just become a bad driver, given the machinery I am certain Piquet Junior could mix it with the best. He clearly has the talent it would be sad if he did not get a second chance to show just what he can do. Piquet for Lotus sounds good to me.

        • The difference is Hamilton stuck with MM, and so MM probably don’t hold it against him. Hamilton didn’t grass up the team (Piquet was right to do so), and also Hamilton wasn’t looking for a new seat. The only similarity I can see is he withheld info.

          • Just because you can drive an F3 car, doesn’t mean you can come into F1 and not only drive an F1 car fast, but deal with all the hype, media, opponents, crazy managers…etc….

            So the point really is, you don’t just become a good F1 driver because you can drive some other open wheeler…there are plenty of others that couldn’t do it.

          • …and there is also the minor point that Hamilton is, even by the most pessimistic assessment, one of THE class acts in F1 from the past ten years. You only have to look at the quality of most ( though by no means all ! ) of his driving this year in a car widely acknowledged until late mid-season as a dog.

            With the best will in the world Piquet may be a teenage girls idea of what an F1 driver should look like but as an F1 driver he’d make a very good toothpaste ad.

            There are at least ten drivers waiting in the wings who are every bit as good as Piquet and very few of them will damage F1 as mortally as that pathetic young man has.

        • Also, @ Mozz and agreeing with mm…Hamilton didn’t put innocent drivers, track marshals, and fans life at risk like Piquet did.

    • I think he has a pretty good chance!

      Yeah, I’ve heard something Cirque du Soleil is thinking in a new show in Las Vegas using SmashCars.

      Have you ever seen a “certified” cheater working as a croupier?

      Imagine the reaction of all F1 environment the first time Nelson would have an accident, something quite a lot probable, given his past records.

      • Nirupam said on 22nd September 2009, 12:29


      • just me said on 22nd September 2009, 15:45

        Expert computer hackers who break into banks and other high security computer systems often don’t go to jail, but get hired by said banks and security firm to provide their expertise ;-)

      • just me said on 22nd September 2009, 16:01

        Since daddy owns a team in GP2 I would not be surprised at all to see Nelsinho race in GP2 again next season. If he does well, and daddy gets his claws deeper into one of the startup F1 teams, we’ll get to see him again.

        There will be huge outcries, controversies, front-page news etc, etc, but that’s ultimately what F1 feeds off! Keep it in the news and more people will be watching. There’s no such thing as bad publicity …

        Don’t count the Piquets out. Don’t ever underestimate the power of money combined with ego and ruthlessness.

  2. I hope not. I don’t care what anyone says about the ‘unfair’ equipment alongside Alonso – there have been plenty of other drivers in the same position that didn’t crash every other race and that did just fine. I think he is a poor driver and a coward for waiting to get fired to report Flavio. He had the chance to say he was not willing to crash the car. He is just as guilty.

    So, bad driver + coward = I hope he never returns to F1…

    • Hallard said on 21st September 2009, 23:05

      I concur, your arithmetic is beyond reproach.

      • Ronman said on 22nd September 2009, 7:28

        Yeah but if he hadn’t crashed the car, and said no to the idea. he wouldnt have anything to hold against Briatore, and no way to prove that Briatore is Rotten…

        i still think this is a overblown personal spat between Piquet and Briatore. the latter vowed not to release him from his contract when he was fired, so then PQ decided to end Briatore’s career once and for all…. and eventually to the content of other drivers….

        I am in no way justifying what was done…but i’d like to modify your arithmetic formula…

        Coward + Thug = Cheating….

        I think Piquet will get another go, but as you said, at the first crash the PR fallout is going to be a nightmare…

        • I agree, but this is about Piquet now. Briatore is gone, good ridance…

          I think it’s best if Piquet is gone for good too….

    • there have been plenty of other drivers in the same position that didn’t crash every other race

      I remember a certain young Brazilian driver who had a rather crash-happy reputation at the beginning of his career. A lot of people at the time considered him a liability to his team, much as people considered Piquet at Renault. This driver took a year out, built up his experience over the following seasons and last year, came within a point of winning the world championship.

  3. The only way he is getting back into F1, is if Piquet GP from GP2 come to F1. Baby Piquet in my opinion is unemployable.

  4. Hypothetical scenario: Piquet Snr. buys a new team, Nelsinho does pretty well. That team undergoes a Force India style renaissance and Piquet gets a pole and fights for two wins. How tempted will teams be to put it all down to youthful inexperience?

    I don’t think Piquet should come back, but this is F1 we’re talking about. Considering figures like Jonathan Woodgate and Craig Bellamy in football are still playing, despite their histories, it’s not exactly unprecedented in sport either.

    • By which I mean, teams will say “it’s all in the past, he was just a silly kid” and he ends up being #2 to Nico Rosberg at Brawn or something ;-)

    • Bellamy and Woodgate are still playing as there are large numbers of teams in top division football so places have been found for them. In F1 there will be – at last count anyway – 13 teams with 26 seats, not (in the EPL as an example) 20 teams with 15-25 players in a squad – about 400 in total.

      Nelson is going to be lucky if he gets a seat anywhere in the top rung of motorsport, whther it be IRL, NASCAR, Le Mans, DTM… too much baggage, and he’s not exactly Senna. There are too many good, fast, unsullied drivers waiting in the wings – Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Hartley, even guys like Bourdais, Briscoe, Paffett, De La Rosa and Wurz would be better bets than Jr.

    • Or Michael Vick in the NFL- can’t get a more glaring example than that. Thankfully I’ll get to enjoy the Giants pummel him tiwce every season :)

  5. Nick Caulfield said on 21st September 2009, 22:21

    Depends if those stories about him having a contract where he has to pay part of his earnings to Flavio for the next 15 years. If that is true and he cannot get out of it then he will come under the associates clause of Flavio’s punishment

    • Bigbadderboom said on 22nd September 2009, 10:56

      But the contract has exit clauses and they will be triggered by Fl;avios exclusion from FIA sanctioned events.

  6. Bartholomew said on 21st September 2009, 22:22

    What a Big Dummie. Who would want him ?
    Back to splitting coconuts with a stone

    • Antifia said on 22nd September 2009, 12:13

      I see. Because that is what Brazilians do when they are not driving an F1 car?

      • Nitpicker said on 22nd September 2009, 13:28

        No, just the Piquets.

      • I see. Because that is what Brazilians do when they are not driving an F1 car?

        Antifia, as a brazilian, I think your comment is VERY discriminatory. You should know better about our country before make any comments like this…

        • Antifia said on 23rd September 2009, 8:19

          Bad interpretation mate. My comment had the exact intention of criticizing what I consider a somewhat discriminatory sentence in Bartholomew’s comment. See the question mark in my comment. And by the way, I am Brazilian too.

  7. zerogee said on 21st September 2009, 22:29

    He’s a spoilt brat like his father. F1 is better off without either of them.

  8. isuraeru said on 21st September 2009, 22:30

    dont be upset about Piquet claims. It is to funny to be true!!! :)

  9. Mike "the bike" Schumacher said on 21st September 2009, 22:36

    Why would anyone hire Piquet? Even if he had all the talent in the world he would not become champion. You need to keep a coooooolll head in f1 like Kimi, Mika, Alonso and Schumi had (well most the time).Piquet never kept a cool head.

  10. Some in Brazil say that Flav threatened to “out” him as being gay to his father. You know Piquet Sr? Can you imagine?

    • Hallard said on 21st September 2009, 23:07

      Didnt Flabby try to out him to the whole world?

    • Grace Lovvorn said on 21st September 2009, 23:59

      Hmm…maybe he couldn’t get as many girls as the almighty Flav.
      But I could see that happening (the gay part)…but I don’t want to jump to conclusions. Pretty boys in F1 aren’t unusual…

      • Sush Meerkat said on 22nd September 2009, 8:04

        Pretty boys in F1 aren’t unusual…

        Only the ugliest become champions though, thats why people question Hamilton all the time, he’s a bit too handsome to be a champion.

  11. I realise that I have to start my career from zero

    How about a very large negative number mate.

    I would rather he went back down a few formulae (Glock style) before even contemplating trying to get an F1 drive from god knows who.

    How can he seriously think he’ll get a drive in 2010? He needs to grow up fast.

  12. manatcna said on 21st September 2009, 23:09

    Unless Bernie can make a whole lot of money out of it, or Piquet’s father entering a team, Junior won’t sit in another Formula One car for a very long time.
    And even then it will be too soon.

  13. Fred Schechter said on 21st September 2009, 23:18

    And now, a list of things Piquet Jr. is qualified to drive after is has been proved that he purposefully crashed an actual Formula 1 car.


    I wouldn’t want him racing ChumpCars ( with me, let alone another F1 car. Somewhere Sebastian Bourdais and Scott Speed are holding their heads high (who by the way are both available and qualified to race F1, and any other sort of cars).

    • AWESOME post dude- one of my all-time favorites!!!! :)

    • Actually, I don’t think it is the ”crashing deliberately” part that makes him unfit – it is that such crash was part of the conspiracy to fix race results.

      Button crashed in Australia on purpose meters before the line (ok, made the engine explode to be precise) so he can get a ”free” new engine in next race. Does that make him unfit to drive in F1? I doubt it.

      • But he didn’t make the engine explode, and he didn’t crash into anything, he just elected to stop before the finish line. Hardly the same.

      • I’m surprised how few people have compared this to Schumacher parking his car at Rascasse. There are many similarities – a driver deliberately disadvantaging his rivals in a dishonest manner, for his own team’s advantage.

  14. I lost more respect for NPJ than anyone else in this affair. I’d be horrified to see him racing in ANY category to be honest.

    • perhaps because you hadn’t much respect for the slimy Flav git to begin with? ;)

    • Arun.India said on 22nd September 2009, 7:08

      I have lost more respect to alonso.What ever people say i feel he is a part of this thing…

      • Nitpicker said on 22nd September 2009, 13:27

        Then there’s no helping you. Heck, the whole paddock must have been in on it. There’s no proof, but why should that get in the way of a good finger-pointing?

        • Why would you say something so stupid as to imply that the whole paddock was in on it? It is logical Alonso was in on it, just picking that strategy would have made him question things. The FIA could be looking the other way since they have two races in Spain now. They already overturned a one race ban to let him race in Valencia, of course they would try to cover this up, a double world champ that is a proven cheater would make their sport look bad and make them all a lot less money.

  15. Mahir C said on 21st September 2009, 23:47

    Doesnt it say in his sworn statement that he was the first to suggest a deliberate crash on Saturday. Then only on Sunday Briatore and Symonds went ahead with the plan?

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