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

  1. He’ll race again when hell freezes over. He may have been given immunity but you can be sure he will be black balled through the back door network every organization runs. The FIA will spread the word if you hire this guy you will face extra scrutiny in every thing you do.

    And deservedly so, the man made a life altering mistake and has to live with the consequences.

  2. Grace Lovvorn said on 22nd September 2009, 0:21

    Does Piquet Jr. have any sense at all?! Here are some tips for the boy:
    1. If you wanted to keep your chances of getting another job, why didn’t you keep you mouth shut? Sure, you did the right thing. Okay, you did do the right thing, but your future’s over. *sob, sob, sniffle, sniffle*
    2. If you really want to get somewhere, don’t come crying to Daddy when big, bad Flavio hurts your feelings.
    3. Quit being a pansy and go get another job…maybe being a barista at your local Starbucks? I bet over-caffeinated cougars will love a dashing boy like you making their macchiatos!
    4. Stop being a Twitter addict. Yes, we know you have no life. But don’t keep your butt stationed in front of your computer all day like I do. Please?
    And most importantly…
    5. STOP COMPLAINING AND GET SOME DECENT DRIVING SKILLS. If you even had a chance of getting back in F1, no one would hire you because a) you’re very whiny, b) you’ve gotten into too much trouble already, and c) you’re famous for crashing, not winning (which you hasn’t happened), and now you’ll be labeled as “The guy who was foolish enough to deliberately crash his car because he was afraid of his boss.”
    Guess it sucks to be Nelson. Now he just needs to beg Daddy to buy an F1 team. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened…

    • 3. Quit being a pansy and go get another job…maybe being a barista at your local Starbucks? I bet over-caffeinated cougars will love a dashing boy like you making their macchiatos!

      I’m not sure that would be the way to quit being a pansy… no change really. :P

  3. Windson V said on 22nd September 2009, 0:54

    If you never made a mistake, throw a stone.
    People are likely to make mistakes and repent.
    I think he learned a lot from it all and deserves a seat in F1 because of his talent.
    Great champions have done much worse and by no means ceased to be great people and great champions. We need to stop false moralism and find that no one can make a mistake.

    • I’m a bit with you on this , Windsong , and being an ex-world champions son , I would like to at least see him in a car alongside another driver , but being given equal opportunity , then only we would know for sure if he has what it takes or not. As it stands now , without him returning to F1 , there is no “closed chapter”.

      • Nitpicker said on 22nd September 2009, 13:36

        without him returning to F1 , there is no “closed chapter”.

        The chapter closed quite neatly when the door bumped him on the backside. Good riddance cheating Piquet.

    • Nitpicker said on 22nd September 2009, 13:34

      I think he learned a lot from it all and deserves a seat in F1 because of his talent.

      What talent?? He was in a race-winning car for a season and a half, and we never saw a flash of anything I would call talent. We saw 17 crashes though. Okay okay, 16 of them were accidental.

      Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone is shown to be completely inept at their job like this guy.

      • Random Chimp said on 22nd September 2009, 15:37

        He was in a race-winning car for a season and a half, and we never saw a flash of anything I would call talent.

        How do you know he was in a race winning car?

  4. I wonder if he has the right to leave Flavio’s driver management contract? I know most contracts have a right to leave but I’m just wondering if Flav put a clause in the contract to prevent it….if so and Nelson is still under contract all that Flav needs to do is refuse to release him lol

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 22nd September 2009, 2:44

      Briatore is banned from being a driver manager. Anyone who signs on with him will not have their superlicence issued or renewed. That sounds like a pretty good reason for breaking a contract.

      • Nitpicker said on 22nd September 2009, 13:43

        Anyone who signs on with him will not have their superlicence issued or renewed.

        Piquet is unlikely to return to F1 and therefore won’t be needing a superlicence any time soon.

  5. I am almost certain jr will never see the inside of an F1 car at a grand prix.

  6. m0tion said on 22nd September 2009, 3:52

    I saw him dicing with Hamilton in equal cars earlier this year, just like in GP2 and NPJ has the racing goods for mine if he can improve his qualifying.

    • Nitpicker said on 22nd September 2009, 13:46

      I saw him dicing with Hamilton in equal cars earlier this year

      But since that was for 18th place, it hardly boosts Piquet’s reputation. Alonso had an equal car too yet he was winning poles while Piquet flirted with the gravel.

  7. bwells said on 22nd September 2009, 4:02

    Nelson should maybe go back and start in carts again with the kids and learn some real skill… I mean he acts like a child.. state of mind or not… he did what he did for the money… the extended contract… and lets face it.. how many times did he spin out or crash during his time at Renault?.. no wonder nobody thought anything of the incident.. he’s not F1 material and I don’t think any team will waste there time with him…

  8. The Limit said on 22nd September 2009, 4:20

    Taking on Piquet Jnr, despite his family billions behind him, would be a massively dangerous gamble for a new team desperate for new sponsors. In more ways than one, he is tainted goods!
    He was everybit as guilty as Flavio and Pat Symonds were, and age does not define guilt, actions do. He went nearly a year before spilling his guts to the powers at be, only after his Renault career went down the toilet.
    Most importantly of all, his performances. It is very interesting to see he blames Flavio for this and that, and the hold Fernando Alonso had over proceedings within the team, but he was simply not fast enough.
    When Alonso’s relationship with McLaren was at its lowest ebb in 2007, the Spaniard still pulled off some impressive drives, especially at Monza. He still played a huge part in taking the championship to the wire with Hamilton and Raikkonen in Brazil, and lost by only one point to Kimi.
    Every driver has bad cars in their career, or bad inter team relationships, but they show enough to warrant further investigation. Take Jenson Button for instance! For years you hardly saw him at times, at the back of the grid, struggling. But he showed promise, showed character, and it has paid off.
    The whole paddock dismissed Felipe Massa in 2002 as a one season wonder, then, six years later, saw him nearly become world champion. This, I can not see happening with Piquet Jnr!
    There is nothing wrong in Piquet Snr wanting the best for his son. I bet every father in the world who has a racing driver son sees them as the next Emerson Fittipaldi even if their crap, and all the money in the world will not change that.
    If I were Piquet Jnr, I would be too ashamed to show my face. I would go back to Brazil, get a nice little job in one of daddies businesses, and enjoy the playboy lifestyle in the sunshine with a couple of dollybirds.

  9. J Hutton said on 22nd September 2009, 4:52

    ok boys, settle down…who cares about his looks or apparent lack of genitals?
    the key question is, was he F1 material and, the answer is, a resounding NO!!!!
    Please spare the details of his pre-F1 days.
    As for Piquet Sr. …A shame that he has tarnished his character with his complete lack of integrity/honesty and senseless polemics.
    There is nothing worse than a contrite guilty party asking for forgiveness while
    demanding punishment to their partners in crime.
    How self serving and transparent!

  10. One of the main reasons why Piquet won’t race again in F1 is quite simple, and one all of you know- there are too many good young drivers coming up, along with veterans becoming available. Just look at the names on the grid now that may move or will be up for grabs next year, then add in the GP2 talent (of which there is plenty) plus the random newcomer or two that USF1 is going to suprise you with :) and it’s hard to see a place for young Nelson. Quite simply, he’s not in demand- there are plenty of other much better drivers available.

    I’ll be the first to say that Piquet diden’t get a fair deal at Renault- I thought that was the case long before this all came out. But that still dosen’t justify slamming an F1 car into a wall at high speed. I won’t lose a wink of sleep if Nelson never sits in an F1 car again. In the meantime, I’m sure he can find a seat in Superleagua ;)

  11. mp4-19b said on 22nd September 2009, 5:55

    Piquet jr is an overgrown kid with no talent just like his pup!! His pup is the least deserving triple world champion. 81 should have been the year of Carlos Reutemann, 83 it should have been prost & 87 definitely Mansell. they guy has only 23 wins to his credit, yet mansell in 92 had more than that & wasn’t a champion yet. Both son & pup are lucky SOBs

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

      How cute. He shouldn’t have won those championships because you don’t like him. He won them fair and square, including the one in 1987 – he was 12 points ahead of Mansel when the Brit chichened out (even Prof. Sid Walkings thought the injure he claimed to have in his neck was not serious enough for his theatrics).
      Mansel (that primadona), on the other hand, apart from 1992, had in four other opportunities a car to win the championship (1986, 1987, 1990 and 1991) and he just couldn’t do it. Why? Because he had competition. He only won his title when he was driving a super-Williams, having R. Patrese as his teamate….pitfull.

    • Didn’t Keke Rosberg win his WC with one GP victory?

  12. Stomp & Steer said on 22nd September 2009, 6:00

    1. FIA revokes licence.
    2. Anyone who hires him is a complete head case (taxi companies included)
    3. Would be a huge draw for the Destruction Derby circuit.

  13. We are all talking as if we all and everybody on the F1 grid except NPJ are saints without evermaking a mistake. C mon guys he made a mistake under extremely pressuring circumstances. Atleast he had the guts to own it. He has proved well in gp2. he has withstood the pressures of flavi. I believe he deserves a second chance.

  14. steph90 said on 22nd September 2009, 7:30

    I can’t believe the amount of people who do geniunely feel sorry for Piquet Jnr when he deliberatly crashed a car and could have injured (fatally) the people around him of himself (though I’m less concerned about that it was his choice) because he wanted an F1 drive. There’s being ambitious and then their is just plain foolish and selfishness. He has made F1 go through it’s worst chapter in recent history, if he was really sorry he would walk away and if the FIA had done their jobs he’d be banned for life. Yes he was under pressue, but everyone has been under pressure for jobs and to feed their families it’s a recession all he wanted was a drive of a car and created a massive scandal. He does not deserve a drive, he shouldn’t even be allowed to watch motorsport, it was his choice. He was at the wheel, he had the pedals under his feet, he was the one with the control no matter what pressure he was under.
    If his father buys him a drive, which seems more than plausible it’ll be another sad day for F1 caused by the Piquets.

  15. I bet he will prove himself in a new team than in Renault.

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