“I should have won ’86, he should have won ’87″ – Piquet and Mansell on their rivalry

F1 history

Nigel Mansell, Williams, Brands Hatch, 1986Never was the ‘mates’ in ‘team mates’ less appropriate than when Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet drove for Williams in 1986 and 1987.

The fierceness of their competition led to memorable battles on the track and some devious manoeuvrings off it. Their rivalry arguably cost one of them the drivers’ championship to Alain Prost in 1986.

But more than 25 years since the two champions last drove together they have been reunited by Ford’s Brazilian arm for a series of new and rather amusing adverts.

While Mansell was in the country the pair gave an in-depth interview to Brazil’s SporTV about their rivalry.

Piquet ‘never recovered’ from Imola crash

Piquet joined Mansell at Williams in 1986. “We have a good year together,” said Piquet. “Sometimes his car breaks down, sometimes my car break down. But I think I deserve more wins in ’86 and he deserve more wins in ’87.”

“’86 I have my car stop twice, engine failure and other things,” he added. “And ’87 I have this accident in Imola.”

Piquet said the crash affected him more badly than he admitted at the time: “I was no good anymore. I lost a lost of deepness in my view. I could not tell because if I tell people take me out of the [car]. And I was driving behind all the time.”

He kept quiet about his injuries through the season and won the championship when Mansell was injured in a crash at the penultimate race: “I talk at the end of the year,” said Piquet.

“Every two weeks I was going to the hospital in Milan. And I was improving, improving but in the first months I lost more than 80% of deepness. I have to look at the numberplate to brake. I was very good to drive behind somebody but I could not drive in front! And that was ’87.”

“But I ’86 was, like I said, I think if everything was good I should win ’86 and Nigel should win ’87.”

Piquet admitted he felt he never fully recovered from the crash, despite remaining in F1 until 1991. “It finished motor racing for me. I went for the money afterwards.”

‘Some of today’s drivers couldn’t race our cars’

Nelson Piquet, Williams, Silverstone, 1987Mansell said that being a ‘number two’ driver in the eighties was different than it is today. “When Nelson and I came together Nelson was already a double champion. When I raced with Keke Rosberg he was a world champion, with Alain Prost world champion, with Nelson.

“And in those days when you were a number one driver or a number two driver there was a big difference from the point of view of… it wasn’t anybody’s fault, technology then wasn’t there, as Nelson said with the computers it hadn’t really been invented then. And so the reliability of the cars was a little bit different.”

As well as being less reliable the cars of the eighties were also harder to drive. Mansell doubted whether all of today’s drivers could cope with them:

“Nelson and I, the cars we drove, there was no power steering. You had to change gear with the gear shift. There was three pedals, you had to synchronise the pedals, if you got the wrong gear changing down you blew the engine.

“There was a lot more input, you had to actually manage the car a lot more. And so some of the drivers today – only some, a few – they wouldn’t probably have the physical strength of the drivers of the past.”

Sportsmanship

Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, Estoril, 1986Among the most famous examples of their rivalry was when Piquet discovered the benefits of a new differential the team had developed and kept it secret from Mansell and used it to win the Hungarian Grand Prix in 1986.

Mansell said he was more disappointed in the team than his team mate on that occasion: “Sometimes there’s more challenges that come your way that you shouldn’t have.

“Nelson’s totally entitled to do what he wanted to as a driver but the engineers in the team should be more transparent. And there was a problem at times where an engineer would not tell the truth… I just think it wasn’t very helpful.”

“Because I mean I’m a racer, if you look at all my racing, I won’t mention other people’s names – not Nelson so much – but there’s other great racing drivers who’ve won championships with crashing into people and that.”

“We never done that,” concurred Piquet. “In no championship we done that, that’s the truth.”

“And I think that’s important because I lost a couple of championships,” continued Mansell, “I was runner-up three times, I could have been champion four times.”

“And if I’d been a different driver in all those championships, I could have won more championships, but the championships that I won I did in a sportsman manner and I’m really pleased and thrilled and that’s why I have the reputation worldwide that I have and I’m very proud of that.”

Piquet on Senna

Piquet’s departure from Williams at the end of 1987 brought an end to his partnership with Mansell, but not the feud between them. The following year Piquet gave a notorious interview to Playboy in which he called Mansell stupid, said his wife was ugly and also called Enzo Ferrari “senile”.

Showing the same appetite for controversy Piquet used his latest interview to bring up a recent remark of his about another driver he never got on with:

“Another day a journalist asked me, ‘being honest, who was the best, you and [Ayrton] Senna?’”

“I said: ‘I’m alive…’”

The full interview was originally published here but appears to be unavailable at present.

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92 comments on “I should have won ’86, he should have won ’87″ – Piquet and Mansell on their rivalry

  1. matt90 (@matt90) said on 26th January 2013, 19:38

    “I said: ‘I’m alive…’”

    What an ****.

    • robfff said on 26th January 2013, 21:10

      The truth hurts.

      • Eduardo (@joysenna) said on 27th January 2013, 10:39

        There are ways of telling the truth that won´t hurt anyone, and those ways aren´t agressive, or disgracefull. Piquet was good, but it´s quite obvious that he wasn´t nearly as good as Senna. Other funny thing is that when Senna died, Piquet was in the States. Some guy in his bycicle passed through and said “Piquet your nemesis died” and Piquet said “rival, get your facts right”. Piquet may put this tough act when speaking about Ayrton, but Ayrton´s death did affect him

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th January 2013, 12:40

        As @joysenna writes, while there is a certain truth to that statement (how much was down to worse luck?), Piquet has a way with things where he finds the best approach to doing so that they come over worst.

      • kelly said on 8th January 2014, 16:24

        the truth hurts huh?he had a same accident as ayrton at the tamburello,he can thanks to god only he is alive,so it is not his skills what kept him alive…
        yes he is alive ,and i feel so sorry about that..

    • Victor. (@victor) said on 26th January 2013, 21:19

      Seems to be in the family.

    • That’s crossing the boundaries that comment. Frankly, nobody knows the true reason for the crash and so to answer that question in such a way is deeply disrespectful. If Piquet just kept some of his comments to himself I may appreciate his obvious talent more but for me there is no question over who was the best of the two (Ayrton & Nelson).

      To make such a comment about a fellow countryman, whom tragically lost his life whist still in his prime, is shameful.

      • +1

        effing disgusting

      • Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 26th January 2013, 23:03

        +1

        Such comments do not indicate an “appetite for controversy”. They indicate that Piquet is a small and petty man.

        • Racehound said on 29th January 2013, 11:47

          ……I enjoyed reading that clear insight. A little “reading between the lines” and you can hear the echo of his resentment at being Brazils “Number 2″.

      • Bruno (@brunes) said on 27th January 2013, 3:50

        Im Senna’s biggest fan. I am also Brazilian.
        And a day after Senna died, Piquet sat down for a LONG interview for a Brazilian tv (Cultura), he said that he was 100% sure the car had broken down and that it was impossible for any driver to make a mistake in that corner.

        Personally I am no big fan o Piquet, maybe because I didnt see him race, I don’t know. But that is his personality, he enjoys making jokes about everything.

        And also, every time there is an interview with Piquet someone has to ask, “Who is better, you or Senna?”
        Every single time? Imagine how annoying that would be. Always being compared to Senna and asked if he was better. Take a second to think how annoyed Piquet must be with this question.
        He once said: “**** up, he won 3 championships, and so did I”

        Senna was, and always will be the best Formula 1 driver of all times. But enough is enough.

        • @bunes

          He once said: “**** up, he won 3 championships, and so did I”

          That would’ve been better than what he said above but thanks anyway for the extra insight.

          • Bruno (@brunes) said on 27th January 2013, 11:15

            It would definitely have been better.
            I can just see why he is tired of this question. It doesn’t justify the answer though.

            But I can guarantee he knows that Senna did die due to a mistake he made, but due to a car failure. I actually watched that interview a couple of weeks ago, so my memory is still fresh. (It is in Portuguese unfortunately)

        • Dazman said on 22nd August 2014, 5:48

          @bruno
          ‘Senna was, and always will be the best Formula 1 driver of all times’.

          Weird how death (or a movie) can elevate one to a
          level of immortality when during their lifetime they were mortal!!
          Maybe best in his generation…maybe…but certainly not the best of all time..one of the best of all time.

      • Paulista said on 29th January 2013, 20:47

        Oh, well, at least Nelson never rammed his opponent purposefully
        Maybe Ayrton was more gifted as a driver, but as a sporstman and as a human being I’d chose nelson over Ayrton any day
        And seriously, Ayrton, take that! you were never able to make an overtake like this one.
        So there.

    • f1alex (@f1alex) said on 26th January 2013, 22:28

      I know, I didn’t particularly like the guy before, but now…

    • Giuseppe (@giuseppe) said on 26th January 2013, 23:46

      As someone who used to idolize Ayrton Senna as a kid, perhaps I should find this very offensive. However, it really doesn’t bother me. I think it was a very daft question to ask that deserved in equally daft answer.

      Not to mention that, without reading the entire interview he gave to that journalist, it’s hard to say exactly what he meant by this.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 27th January 2013, 0:14

      Even if it is blanked out, this comment passing moderation must mean Keith agrees :p

  2. Girts (@girts) said on 26th January 2013, 19:42

    I think that the drivers are fitter than ever today and that there is not a big difference between Vettel’s and Karthikeyan’s fitness levels. It’s likely that different body strengths are required of them, compared to Mansell-Piquet era. But I doubt if Piquet of 1986 could race today’s cars, given the G-forces and the complex controls, such as DRS, KERS, brake balance etc.

    • Roald (@roald) said on 26th January 2013, 19:50

      Exactly, chain-smoker Keke Rosberg always comes to mind.

      Piquet is so underrated, I think this has a lot to do with his weak English, you can barely make out the point he’s trying to get across at times. That is an interesting quote on Senna, one that made me smile a bit I’m afraid… at least he’s not afraid to say what he thinks…

    • Martinuzzo said on 26th January 2013, 23:56

      Sorry, my friend, but if anyone of the past were given the challenge to deal with DRS, KERS and everything else, Nelson Piquet would be the one to stand out as the best.

      He changed formula one. He made the Williams active suspension work. He was the first one to preheat the tires before the races. He was the first one to do pitstops for fuel in F1. He understood vehicle dynamics more than anyother driver.

      Piquet was a genius. He still is.

      When he retired, he founded a company in Brazil and now he is wealthier than any former F1 champion (maybe with the exception of Schumacher).

      And we shall never forget his efforts to take that huge pile of **** that was Flavio Briatore out of F1.

      People doubt of his capabilty as a driver. He is a 3 times world champion. He won each championship with a different engine.

      • Giuseppe (@giuseppe) said on 27th January 2013, 1:16

        And twice he did it in a car that did not win the Constructors Championship. In fact, in 1983, his Brabham team only finished third.

      • Interesting! Both KERS and DRS are simple on/off tools that require no sensing or special skills to use. I don’t know why Piquet would be better at using them than anyone else.

        Mike Drury of MA invented the first proper tire warmers, not Piquet, though it is true that he happened to be the driver when Patrick Head first started to prototype active suspension.

        So he managed to found a successful company in retirement. Am sure that very exceptional being a multi millionaire in country with extremely cheap labor, heavy poverty and the very few corporate restrictions existing at the time easily overruled by corruption.

        Even in the business aspect Senna was way ahead of him years before his premature exit.

        Sorry, but I just have a very hard time accrediting the tag “genius” to someone who always comes across as a disrespectful jerk.

        Was it a genius act to try and mark Senna as homo sexual back in the 80′s or was it rather a hurt little boys running out resources against a far superior rival both in skills and intellect?

  3. melkurion (@melkurion) said on 26th January 2013, 20:11

    I’ve never rated Piquet that higly as a champion…. Don’t know why, because I only started watching F1 in 1994, so just after he retired, but for some reason it just feels that way.

    BUt , just reading this article and his quotes, makes me appreciate the man a lot more then before!

    “I’m alive”is in my book the best answer he could have giving to that particular question, it cracked me up :)

    • @melkurion – that particular example you have referred to I found a senseless and quite frankly appalling remark. The rest I agree are quite amusing but to say such a senseless thing is shocking. It just makes me wonder if he thinks the same of Clark or Ascari, which if true has made me lose all respect for him.

      For me all the light-hearted humour he shows has been converted into a feeling of pity from me; I can’t imagine how he can reasonably say such things.

      • melkurion (@melkurion) said on 26th January 2013, 23:49

        @vettel1 I disagree, everybodys eems to interpet the comment about him beinga live as a sign of disrespect to senna.

        People forget that simply asking the question is a sign of disrespect to Piquet himself. Piquet , clown-prince of tomfoolery he might be, is himself a triple world champion. A man who lived for the sport, and achieved the highest possible. To do that you must have a tremendous amount commitment and talent and willpower.

        So you ask a man like that, the question: do you think someone else, someone who is dead, was better? WHAT is he going to say? Is he going to lessen himself and his achievements by saying YES, he was better. Or is he going to be an arrogant ***** and say NO, I was better? This is a “no win situation” for Piquet. Eithr answer is not accetable in this situation

        So he says the only thing that makes, sense, the truth, “he’s alive”

        And that in my eyes shows no disrespect or ever, it shows a clever funny man , who is put on the spot, and replies with the truth…..

        • Giuseppe (@giuseppe) said on 27th January 2013, 1:05

          I think you’re right; the question was stupid and disrespectful to both drivers, but especially to Piquet. If the answer seems inappropriate, it may be only because the question itself was more than a bit daft.

          Also, Piquet had a terrible crash at Imola in almost the exact place where Senna would find his death only seven years later. I was not aware of this accident until someone pointed it out, and I think it puts his comment in a completely different light.

        • Giuseppe (@giuseppe) said on 27th January 2013, 1:28

          I think you’re right; the question was stupid and disrespectful to both drivers, but especially to Piquet. If the answer seems inappropriate, it may be only because the question itself was more than a bit daft.

          Also, Piquet had a terrible crash at Imola in almost the exact place where Senna would find his death only seven years later. I was not aware of this accident until someone pointed it out, and I think it puts his comment in a completely different light.

        • PT (@pt) said on 27th January 2013, 3:29

          Love the way you’ve expressed your point. Agree with it too :)

          Nelson Piquet just does not get the respect he deserves as a driver. The recent post-2008 crashgate incident involving his son hasn’t helped. People shouldn’t let outside factors decide their perception of a driver’s skills though. “Clown-prince of tomfoolery” – that’s a classic!

        • @melkurion Yes, the question itself was stupid. The answer was just ridiculous. I don’t see how the fact he also crashed at tamburello changes the meaning of his comment: is he implying that because he didn’t die that it is due to skill?

          Of all the responses he could have chosen, he chose to say that. For me that speaks volumes of his personality and he is just looking to cause controversy but this comment is a step to far. I really can’t see how that answer can mean anything other than the fact he thinks Senna is worse because he crashed an died, which is extremely misinformed and a senseless thing to say. I would have much preferred he had said he was better due to his actions on track, not Senna’s crash.

          • Bruno (@brunes) said on 27th January 2013, 10:54

            Im Senna’s biggest fan. I am also Brazilian.
            And a day after Senna died, Piquet sat down for a LONG interview for a Brazilian tv (Cultura), he said that he was 100% sure the car had broken down and that it was impossible for any driver to make a mistake in that corner.

            Personally I am no big fan o Piquet, maybe because I didnt see him race, I don’t know. But that is his personality, he enjoys making jokes about everything.

            And also, every time there is an interview with Piquet someone has to ask, “Who is better, you or Senna?”
            Every single time? Imagine how annoying that would be. Always being compared to Senna and asked if he was better. Take a second to think how annoyed Piquet must be with this question.
            He once said: “**** up, he won 3 championships, and so did I”

            Senna was, and always will be the best Formula 1 driver of all times. But enough is enough.

          • Bruno (@brunes) said on 27th January 2013, 10:55

            “he is just looking to cause controversy”
            That my friend, sums up Nelson Piquet

          • @brunes – Indeed, although there is a difference between controversial and stupid. Of course the journalists should stop asking the same old stupid question but Piquet shouldn’t have given such a stupid answer. It is very ironic what he implies with that answer when in the same interview he talks about his crash at the same corner.

          • melkurion (@melkurion) said on 28th January 2013, 10:08

            @vettel1

            I think the keypoint in the difference of oppinion here is “perception”

            The comment of “I’m alive” by Piquet is seen by many people as being an insult, or controversial, or as an implication that Senna was worse then Piquet.

            I don’t read try that much into it however, Piquet was put on the spot by what was (and I think everyboy agrees on that) a stupid and disrespectfull question.

            And he responded with a truthfull comment. I don’t see any implications or disrespect for that…..

            I always find great truth is the following statement:

            “I’m only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand”

          • @melkurion The problem with your view is that it doesn’t consider Piquet’s history of brutal and dishonest attempts to publicly destroy Senna’s image out of nothing but pure envy.

            If anything you should put more into the statement than the obvious disrespect and distaste.

          • melkurion (@melkurion) said on 28th January 2013, 10:44

            @poul

            I don’t really belive Piquet has ever tried to destroy’s senna’s image. But I do understand how he could be frustrated that Senna is rated so high, whereas he is not, even though his achievments speak for themselves.

            I guess this is just a case of agree to disagree for most people, as it depends greatly on everybodies personal views on both senna and piquet.

          • @melkurion If you don’t believe that he very intensely did downright disgusting things to destroy Senna’s image that is your choice. It does not reflect the history on which you can easily read up.

            Piquet’s unpleasant and heartless personality is exactly why he is regarded so low despite his results.

    • Dazman said on 22nd August 2014, 6:00

      Piquet’s renowned for his sense of humour and sometimes it’s needed to get through terrible scenarios. Piquet’s answer I think is more a case of to the reporter rather than Senna. Ironic in the sense that Piquet had a similar crash at that corner in 1987.

  4. only some, a few

    I’d love to know which ones he’s referring to. Given the sheer intensity of the training drivers undergo now, which ones among them would not be able to develop enough strength to handle a car that, say, Alain Prost could?

    • hamilton for one, i remember on the build up to a race a couple years back lewis got to rip around silverstone in one of senna’s old mclaren monster mp4 something… in full 1000 hp Quali trim and he had no problem

      • Chris H (@wolfie9985) said on 26th January 2013, 22:43

        That was actually on Top Gear! It was the Senna Tribute that Clarkson put together. If I recall correctly, LH loved it, but said that he couldn’t imagine what it would be like getting used to driving that MP4-4 on the limit.

      • Maybe I should have included more of the quote:

        There was a lot more input, you had to actually manage the car a lot more. And so some of the drivers today – only some, a few – they wouldn’t probably have the physical strength of the drivers of the past.

        Mansell was implying that a few of today’s drivers wouldn’t have the strength to drive those older cars. I was wondering which ones he meant, because I think it’s very likely that they all would.

  5. Kelsier (@kelsier) said on 26th January 2013, 20:26

    Never crashed into somebody ehh? I remember a certain driver crashing into somebody after having ignored black flags for several laps…

  6. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 26th January 2013, 20:40

    Mansell shouldn’t have won in 1987. People are quick to remember his crash and injury at Suzuka, but forget that Piquet crashed heavily in Imola (which probably affected him for the rest of the season) and Mansell went on to win that race where’s Piquet didn’t enter. Likewise, despite that, Piquet was already 15 points ahead before Suzuka with only 18 more to be earned. So even if Mansell didn’t get injured, Piquet still would have won the championship.

    Nelson was better than Nigel in 1987. Plain and simple.

    Just had to get it across there. ;-)

  7. Victor. (@victor) said on 26th January 2013, 21:01

    I think comparing drivers, or any athletes for that matter, across eras is pointless, not because of it being a methodological problem, but because, quite frankly, everything has become more professional. I would argue that any sportsman nowadays is superior to those before him in absolute terms. Comparing athletes is thus interesting in a contextual sense, i.e. who was the best compared to others or who epitomises the sport the most (Senna’s mythological status is more than just him being very quick), but to argue that Fangio is a better driver than Hamilton in non-relative terms is like arguing that a 250 GTO is better than a 458. It might have more character etc., but fundamentally it is a product of its time, and in objective terms, i.e. in the sense of fulfilling its purpose, the cars/drivers of today are, or ought to be, better than previous ones. It’s quasi-scientific: once a truth is discovered people start to work around that paradigm, and since it’s got more explanatory power (or in the case of sports, an ability that can be practiced which gives more performance), it is adapted.

    Similarly, Federer is better than Sampras, because not only has the game evolved, but because he works on more elements of his play than Sampras has. Djokovic will, with time, be better than Federer (but so will the competition), and he already trumps him physically, which implies the game has become more athletic as performance can be found there. There’s an interview with Federer from before this year’s Australian Open where he is asked the question whether he’s a better player now or when he dominated and he said that he’d love to think he’s better now (even though he might be more vulnerable physically), but the competition, and the equipment and sport, has caught up.

    I’ve gone slightly off-topic there, but the reason why current drivers might not have been able to drive older cars is not due to them lacking the talent to do so, but because they have not been groomed to do so. Today’s special forces would be poor knights, which does not mean they could not have been awesome ones had they wanted to.

    • Ambrogio said on 27th January 2013, 15:43

      I think you miss one point. Engines of yesterday were more fragile and the cars require also more courage. And not to mention where they were driving! (old Nurburgring, old Spa…).
      Michael Schumacher drove one time an old Ferrari and he was surprised on how much dangerous they were.
      For sure they have more physical preparation today, but thinking on Fangio in the ’50s. In one gp in Argentina the temperature was so terrible that every car was shared by 2 or 3 drivers apart of Fangio (that wins that gp) and another driver, and JMF was yet over 40s. So I agree that is very difficult to say who can do better between the different eras, but to say that who comes after is better than the ones before is just an opinion.

    • Jono (@me262) said on 28th January 2013, 6:30

      IMO your view is a little subjective regarding first the tennis example. Sport stars of today do have science as a greater ally to monitor and increase their performance, but this has no bearing on their natural ability. Dosent matter who drove what in whichever era, the best would be determined if you could hypothetically bring say the top 20 drivers from history & organize a meeting starting on karts moving on to old and new Formula 1′s and finish with a heat of double decker busses :)

      Regarding the Tennis example, I couldnt disagree with you more. Djokovic as good as he is doesnt have the complete well rounded game Federer has and never will. IMO Djokovic< Federer at his peak..tennis has descended into a bit of a conservative 'first one not to make a mistake wins' combat (albeit maybe more tactical) which Djokovic subscribes to..and compare it to Federer's aggresive go for the win style and you'll see what Im getting at. Take a look at where the positive-attacking serve-volley game is in todays tennis

  8. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 26th January 2013, 21:10

    it’s always very difficult to compare eras in any sport. ascari, fangio and moss would be useless in a modern car, and the skills are no longer developed to heel-toe a manual car like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjbrFBE4x8A

  9. James_mc (@james_mc) said on 26th January 2013, 22:24

    Like a lot of people, I never rated Piquet particularly highly. Then again he is a 3x WDC. And it should be noted he is the only man to have won 2 championships in a car which did not win the constructors title in that season.

    And I find his outspoken-ness and general nastiness quite amusing :-)

    • @james_mc

      And I find his outspoken-ness and general nastiness quite amusing

      Generally, yes, but there is a very fine line between what is comical and what is disrespectful. With this comment he has literally jumped off the tightrope:

      ““Another day a journalist asked me, ‘being honest, who was the best, you and [Ayrton] Senna?’”

      “I said: ‘I’m alive…’”

      The fact he is almost bragging about the fact he made such a deeply disturbing comment means as a human being I can’t respect him. I have explained above in reply to matt90‘s why that comment is a step to far.

      I am all for pushing the boundaries in all respects, from the FIA rule book to comedy to outspokenness but also I firmly believe that you have to respect that boundary, and making petty remarks about a legend of the sport who tragically lost his life is what stops me from ever respecting Piquet, no matter how good a driver he was.

      • Postreader said on 26th January 2013, 23:01

        He also mentioned the best moment of the year of his third championship was when Mansell crashed in Suzuka and had a spinal concussion. Yes, really.

      • xbx-117 (@xbx-117) said on 26th January 2013, 23:11

        It was a stupid question, and he gave an equally fitting response to it.

      • Aussie Fan said on 28th January 2013, 1:58

        Seriously you have expresed your disgust about this joke enough, can you please get over it? Wow one flippant joking quote spoken out of cheek as much as annoyance. Have you NEVER said something in your life as a joke or out of anoyance that you wouldnt have said in hindsight? No one is perfect, but at least he doesnt give standard boring politically correct answers to all interviewers questions and thank his sponsors every interview…

    • Slr (@slr) said on 26th January 2013, 23:41

      And I find his outspoken-ness and general nastiness quite amusing :-)

      I agree with this to be honest. I usually find people who are controversial and are not afraid to say anything, even if they know they’ll upset many, more interesting. That’s probably why I’m not a fan of Webber, because he always says things which pleases everyone.

      • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 27th January 2013, 0:17

        webber always struck me as a “real” guy – one that is smart enough to keep himself from saying things that would haunt him. he seems more genuine than many of his wooden salesman contemporaries. once he retires i look forward to him firing away.

        fwiw, i liked piquet’s answer. sure, senna had amazing skill, but it is forgotten or dismissed that he was a total jerk on the track and most of today’s rough driving can be traced right back to him. similar to nascar’s dale earnhardt, villainous driving + multiple titles + death at the wheel = sainthood.

        • @f1yankee

          senna had amazing skill, but it is forgotten or dismissed that he was a total jerk on the track and most of today’s rough driving can be traced right back to him.

          I have not once said that Piquet or indeed anyone has to like Senna or agree with his driving antics but to imply that Senna crashed and died due to a lack of skill, thereby making Piquet better is stupid.

          I am not proclaiming that Senna should be hailed as a saint merely because he died prematurely because I too, even as a fan of his, acknowledge he had his faults (crashing into Prost at turn one in Japan for instance was highly dangerous) but the respect should still be there regardless. That comment showed no respect.

        • i don’t think senna was upset by piquet’s lack of respect.

          You obviously know very little about Senna.

      • That’s probably why I’m not a fan of Webber, because he always says things which pleases everyone.

        Yes, yes he does. Thank you for noticing!

      • Drop Valencia! said on 27th January 2013, 5:47

        As opposed to the other drivers whom are so outspoken, you make me LOL

  10. StephenH said on 26th January 2013, 22:49

    So does this meen that Mansell and Piquet have buried the hatchet then ?? I know that time is healer and all that but it seemed like there was a LOT of pettiness and bitter squabbles going on at the time.

    As for Piquet’s comments on Senna, not good, but considering the shunts Piquet had in his later career, not just Imola, but at Indianapolis in 1992 when he smashed his ankles and legs up, maybe he was just expressing relief more than anything.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW-dSwYlQLE

  11. JB (@) said on 27th January 2013, 3:19

    @vettel1 , @melkurion , @matt90

    I agree that he just went overboard with the answer… I for one, have never liked Piquet because of what I´ve read… he was a very sneaky and overall low erson to have as a team mate but in all honesty… do you think that the correct way to have answered such an idiotic question would have been :

    “Why don´t you ask him?”

    A bit less disrespectful and also makes the reporter look like a total *******!

  12. Xavier (@xavier9) said on 27th January 2013, 9:26

    It was inconsiderate of Nelson to say “I’m alive” as a response to who was better out of he and Senna. In the same interview he ironically mentions his own accident at the very same corner and never being the same again.

    I feel sorry that it should have happened to either driver, and he should too, whatever his personal issues may be or had been.

  13. DavidJH (@davidjh) said on 27th January 2013, 10:18

    Piquet is a strange one. Relative to his remarkable success, he must be one of the least talked about drivers around. Perhaps it is different in Brazil — must be in fact if an ad campaign is being built around him — but he rarely seems to be remembered with any fondness. Partly it seems because he never hid his lack of sympathies. I think I can recall Murray asking him after the Australian race in 86 if he felt sorry for Mansell. Nelson grinned and said “I don’t feel sorry for no one.” I get the impression he is not liked much in the paddock. When there was the reunion of WC in Bahrain a couple of years back, wasn’t he the only healthy WC who didn’t turn up?

    • Actually I think Piquet’s reputation is worst in GB because of his rivlary with Mansell in Williams and English-written pages have the greatest media influence what makes the perception Piquet is underrated. I’m from the Eastern-Europe and Piquet was very popular here in 80s, by many considered the greatest driver of the era (yes, better than Senna or Prost). Same for Germany. Recently I even noticed BBC placed Hamilton over Piquet in F1 hall of fame what I can assure you is so ridiculous everyone outside GB must laugh at it.

      Plus – Piquet before his Imola crash in 86 was a lot different driver than after. It indeed affected him – badly. And not many are old enough to remember how great he was in Brabham – or even in Williams 86, check his Hungaroring overtake. Besides – his primary stregth was technical brilliance in setting up the car. Lot of Mansells perceived “matching speed” came simply out of copying Piquet’s invented setup.

      Also – it is a bit unfair to compare him to let say Senna or Mansell which were much younger and were competing him at their prime while he was already getting old. Senna wasn’t even in F1 when Piquet already had two titles at his shoulders.

      • And btw. regarding unfair comparison – The famous quote of Piquet about Senna being “Sao Paulo taxi driver” comes from 1983 test drive when Senna was allowed to try Piquet’s Brabham and his best time was *two seconds slower* than Piquet’s.

        Naturally it was an unfair competition saying nothing with Senna being an utter novice to the F1 and Piquet the reigning world champion in his own team but that’s exactly what Piquet faced with his damaged-by-crash health after Imola 86, nearly 40 years of age and inferior cars at the dusk of his carreer when Sena was at the peak of his own.

  14. claudioff (@claudioff) said on 27th January 2013, 12:38

    I wouldn’t trade one quote from Piquet by all tweets of nowadays drivers. When asked about his worst accident (Indianapolis 500, 1992) where he suffered serious foot and ankle injuries (including a lost of some toes) he answered “At least I will have less work about cutting my nails”.

  15. taurus (@taurus) said on 27th January 2013, 13:29

    Well, it made me laugh, if only just to see someone go in the opposite direction of the general Senna love-in.

    I wish more drivers nowadays came up with an answer that didnt toe the company line

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