Nelson Piquet Jnr wants F1 return

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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

139 comments on “Nelson Piquet Jnr wants F1 return”

  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!

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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…

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. …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.

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

    2. 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.

      1. 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 ;-)

      2. 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…

    1. I concur, your arithmetic is beyond reproach.

      1. 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…

        1. 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….

    2. 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.

    1. 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 ;-)

    2. 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.

    3. 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. 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

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

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

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

      1. No, just the Piquets.

      2. 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…

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

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

  9. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    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?

    1. Didnt Flabby try to out him to the whole world?

    2. 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…

      1. 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.

        1. the gap in his front teeth save him though…

  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. 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. 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).

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

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

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

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

      1. 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?

        1. 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. 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?

    1. No, Flavio approached him with question of will he sacrifice his car for the better good of the team.

  16. 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.

    1. Do they need to spread the word?? It’s been headline news all around the developed world for the past couple of weeks.

    2. Bloody good point GeorgeK.

      Piquet will be a leper as far as any other F1 team is concerned.

  17. 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…

    1. 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

      1. Grace have you fallen in love with Piquet Jr ;) ??

        1. Oh no! It couldn’t be!
          I do like his looks, though ;)

  18. 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.

    1. 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”.

      1. 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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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?

  19. 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

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      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.

      1. 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.

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

    1. He doesn’t deserve to ever see the inside of an F1 car again.

  21. 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.

    1. 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.

  22. 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…

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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 ;)

  26. 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

    1. 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.

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

    1. I agree, though it seems almost everyone else doesn’t.

  29. 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.

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

  31. Guys…

    The person most at risk in this foolhardy enterprise was Junior himself… and he is just a kid who is desperate to fulfil his dream…

    He is obviously very easy to manipulate and bully … and that is the reason why he should not have a drive ….

    Interestingly the fact he is pleading for a drive shows that he doesn’t really appreciate how people feel and I blame his family and friends for that….

    The whole episode is very sad but he needs to grow up and show that he has before he should consider asking for another chance…..

    1. Piquet’s 23. In F1, it’s no longer a valid claim being called a ‘kid’ at 23. Look at the astonishing maturity shown by Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Vettel. Piquet’s been around racing quite long enough to know how you play the F1 game.

      He couldn’t cut it. End of story.

  32. Again i say the Piquet’s did what they did out of sheer malice for jr loosing his seat. What team in there right mind would hire a snitch at any price?.
    Do something jr doesn’t like and your up on the red carpet or have to resign.
    i give Flav the benefit of doubt on this one, he lost his job because he refused to allow a spoilt rich kid and second rate driver at that, to blackmail Renault.
    i am not saying Flav played no part, he and others obviously orchestrate Alonso’s victory, and he took the bullet for it like a man. Piquet jr will never race F1 again, if he or his father show up in the paddock, they will be treated as pariah!

    1. I second that. While I do have some sympathy for Jnr and am sure he is sorry, I wonder which he is sorrier for. The crash, or the loss of his seat? Maybe this will be a good lesson for him, methinks Jnr has probably gotten everything he ever wanted in life. Welcome to the real world, Nelsinho !

  33. and he is just a kid who is desperate to fulfil his dream…

    I caqn understand that and would have felt sorry for him if he hadn’t of done it, but he had the choice. He’s rose up through the motorsport ranks to F1, his father taking an interest in his career and managed by Flav. He knows how the world works. It was a premeditated act and he lied about it for a year and only spoke thed truth when he wanted to.
    If I thought he showed an ounce of remorse then maybe he would deserve some compassion but never to work in the sport again as far as I can see now he’s got Flav back he’s just after a drive and not really understanding any of this. Though what I see is just my opinion, I can see where you all come from.

  34. Where’s all this vitriol at Piquet (and his father) coming from? It seems like like there’s a lot more foaming at the mouth going on here than in comments on Briatore – that’s just about as balanced as the FIA’s disciplinary decision making. As for drivers not having minds of their own – during Barrichello’s time at Ferrari (and this is in no way a moral comparison) I so often wondered: why the hell doesn’t he just tell them where to go when he’s told to let Schumacher pass? F1 drivers are people, too, after all. And some are more eager to please, susceptible to pressure, and deferential to authority than others.

    Piquet didn’t show us much on the track, but I don’t see any ethical problems with a team giving him a test against other candidates.

  35. Where’s all this vitriol at Piquet (and his father) coming from? It seems like like there’s a lot more foaming at the mouth going on here than in comments on Briatore

    For me it is because Briatore well never be present in F1 again whereas there a chance Piquet could come back.
    I often wondered that about Barrichello too though, and yes you are right f1 drivers are people it’s just this has shocked a lot of people.
    Thats the end of my rambles at least :P

    1. Even if what really happened in Singapore a year ago had never come out the only way Piquet Jnr would ever have driven in F1 again would be if his father had bought an F1 team or he could bring major financially backing to a team.

      For me he was the main one responsible in all this and if he hadn’t been granted immunity would have received the same punishment as Briatore. Piquet Jnr may not have come up with the plan but he was the one who crashed the car in the end, he didn’t have to crash, and then he only told the truth when Renault sacked him.

      1. Sorry that was meant as a new post not a reply.

  36. did I hear that part of NPJ’s contract stipulated that he was expected to achieve lap times within 0.5s of Fernando’s?

    Or something like that…

    Anyway last year and this year there has seemed to be around a 10 place difference between the two drivers. You can put some of that down to the fact that FA’s car was the first to get new parts etc.etc., but the point is that Renault were never expecting NPJ to match his Double WC team-mate, just get within half a second per lap of him.

    He couldn’t manage even that. Is he of F1 calibre? No – I think he hit his zenith in GP2.

    So regardless of whatever’s gone on politically, I’d be surprised if he gets a drive on merit – just not quick enough. A paid seat will be his only chance.

  37. Keith, I know you don’t think he should be pitied, but I still do pity him. I think he had battered woman syndrome (only he’s a man). Briatore sounds like a monster to work for, and Piquet Jr was never in favour with him because he treated Alonso like a God. I hope he gets another drive, even if it’s his dad’s and blows everyone’s socks off.

    1. S Hughs I admire your compassion, but for me its a leap of empathy too far. He is an extraordinarily privileged individual, with a triple world champion father to guide him, I simply don’t get it. He has concealed information to his benefit, then blown F1 open again to his benefit, obtained and excersised immunity. He, and what you have to bear in mind here is only he, crashed that car, everything else up to that point was talk. I can’t understand how a single minded F1 driver willingly risks all, and to his own admission not even on a promise of a new contract. His immunity sickens me, him asking the F1 world to forgive him and give him another chance…..that raises my blood pressure.

  38. I believe NPJ will come back.
    It is possible even in 2010!!!

    There are many advantages:
    – He retained his superlicence and his right to race in F1

    – He is very young and proved to be successfull in GP2 (forget for a moment his career in F1 with Flavio who was his executioner). His career in F1 until now is not probably representative for his skills…

    – A new team will seek for a good and cheap driver! Moreover Piquet probably could give some money to have a seat! This is very tempting!!!!

    – Piquet is now recognizable. There is no such thing as bad publicity. The team he will join, will have some publicity which is very important for the team’s sponsors.

    – He will be given the chance to drive a proper car and at least the same with his teammate. Probably he will drive even better in order to prove everyone wrong!

    1. – A new team will seek for a good and cheap driver! Moreover Piquet probably could give some money to have a seat! This is very tempting!!!!

      Which is indeed very possible.

      Overall I think Piquet should be banned by FOTA to ever drive in F1. I believe FOTA can make power of agreement between its teams not to chose a particular driver for the safety of Formula 1.

      However in saying that if Piquets have enough money, they can buy their own team and race. Or they can, as you said, buy into the team, probably Williams just because he hates FOTA. For as long as Piquet still has the license anything is possible.

      We have seen so many things happen in F1 that the worst of all could still happen.

    2. And the disadvantages:
      – He retained his superlicence even while he told everybody that he was a cheat

      – He was very young and proved to be only successfull in GP2 with a lot of help from daddy and only came second in his second season being beaten by a rookie. GP2 drivers really are only interesting if they become champ in their first year.

      – His career in F1 until now is probably pretty much representative for his skills in F1. The few races where he was at a disadvantge are far outnumbered by the races where he simply had a fair chance. He simply is unable to cope with the compelxities of racing an F1 car. It’s obviously a step too high. He should be driving in lower classes of motorsport and indeed there he would probably do fine.

      – A new team will seek for a good and cheap driver! Piquet crashes almost in every event he participates in. Car repair costs will easily outweigh his sponsorship contribution.

      – Piquet is now recognizable as a cheat. Who wants to show that they hired a cheat?.

      – He will again be given the chance to drive a proper car and at least the same with his teammate. Probably he will try to drive better in order to prove everyone wrong and fail miserably again as he did every time before!

  39. “I do not expect this to be forgiven or forgotten but at least now people can draw their conclusions based upon what really happened.”

    My conclusion is Piquet was under huge pressure and he is done what most young drivers would do when are put in his situation.

    What Hamilton did in Australia (and his situation was much better, he had no pressure of team, knew his place in F1 was safe…etc) is good example of how desperate young drivers are. How low they can go to achieve something (in this case it was just 1 point). He contineusly lied, he even had to lie because his team was lying (Ryan was team’s voice) and asked Lewis to say the same. So you see the picture. Teams must be asking there drivers to do and say many things including the wrong ones. Young drivers often accept.

    All in All what we have seen of Piquet, his performances are not true indication of his talent, i strongly believe he was never given same equipment or as competitive strategy as Alonso.
    He getting another chance in F1 will not be a bad thing.

    1. Lying about a radio transmission and encouraging somebody to pass you is whole different sport to deliberatley crashing a car for somebody elses benefit.
      It’s not just the act either, it’s the concealment, then the blackmail attempts, then pleading for immunity, it’s just rotten to the core.

      All in All what we have seen of Piquet, his performances are not true indication of his talent, i strongly believe he was never given same equipment or as competitive strategy as Alonso.
      He getting another chance in F1 will not be a bad thing.

      But for me they are a true indication of his own personal make up, his morality and the type of support he gets from his father.

      Piquet getting another chance in F1 would be an absolute traversty, its appaling he has escaped unpunished, please don’t let him get rewarded.

  40. probably be a bad idea because fans might boo him on the track for being a cheat and holding the truth when it suited him and holding it for a year. and the FIA dont have to allow the Piquet family to have their own team, just in case they would think of cheating again but that time if he did he would most likely keep it quiet.

    Lewis Hamilton was lucky to keep his seat in Formula 1, Nelson Piquet Jnr wont be so lucky

  41. liegate –>
    – Hamilton gets no points,
    – McLaren gets no points,
    – Ryan leaves the team

    – Alonso keeps Singapore win and points,
    – Renault keeps the 10 points for the Singapore win
    – Renault without 10 points would still be 4th and be awarded the money for this position but I think a small fine should be there.
    – Briatore and Symonds leave the team (this is more like a favor for Renault)

    This is the FIA justice. A lie is worse than a crash :lol:

    1. I agree – they should have disqualified Hamilton for life.

    2. Crashes happen about 3.141 times per race, on average (made that up ;-) ). Crashes are an everyday part of F1 and no big deal. The difference between an ambitious driver pushing just over the limit and a malicious one pushing just over the limit at a certain time at a certain place is just a matter of coordinates.
      Punishment: harsh words on paper.

      Hey, but lying – lying to the FIA – well that is outrageous and needs to be punished with severe actions rather than “serious” words.

      @Keith: As a journalist and very successful blogger with ever increasing fan base you actually have some power to keep poking the FIA practices with damming and inquisitive articles. You actually can put up a journalistic publicity fight against the rotten, self-interest club called FIA and expose their behind-the-scenes deals and manipulations. Help to get someone else than Todd on the helm and get them to change their more-than-questionable practices.

      If you do that, Keith, and if Todd’s almost certain election is averted, I’ll hang up your picture in my office, nicely framed in gold, and I’ll bow to it 3 times a day ;-).

    3. @ unicorn (sorry for the caps, don’t know how to quote someone)

      liegate –>
      – Hamilton gets no points, (HE KEPT HIS POINTS)
      – Ryan leaves the team (FAIR)

      crashgate –>
      – Alonso keeps Singapore win and points, (HE WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY, SO THIS IS FAIR)
      – Renault keeps the 10 points for the Singapore win (IT WAS LAST YEAR AND IT WOULDN’T CHANGE ANYTHING, ALSO THE ‘TEAM’ WASN’T GUILTY LIKE MCLAREN)
      – Renault without 10 points would still be 4th and be awarded the money for this position but I think a small fine should be there (AGREED).
      – Briatore and Symonds leave the team (this is more like a favor for Renault)(NO, THIS WAS FAIR, AND THEY ARE NOW SCREWED WITH NO MANAGEMENT)

      1. oops, i meant to say hamilton should lose his points…because he withheld information…alonso didn’t (as far as we know)

        1. mfDB I was referring to the 2009 liegate,
          not to the 2007 spygate!!!
          So please check your comments as you answered on the wrong basis…

  42. Keith,
    In the brazilian Grand Prix 2008, Nelson Piquet, the father, told Charlie Whiting what happened in Singapore, but Mr. Whiting said it could not be proved.
    This let me to conclude that every single one knew about it and that FIA decided to act whenever was suitable for them. They could have invited Piquet Jr. for a hearing way back in the Brazilian GP2008.
    About the FIA hearing last monday:
    1 – In the internal discussions Renault was voted to be banished from F1, but FIA backed off for political reasons, grid emptyness and engine supplies.
    2 – FIA had the proves that Alonso knew the racefix but voted no sanctions for him once again. This man is shilded.
    How do i know this? from the same reporter that blasted out all this crashgate in the Belgian GP weekend.
    Have fun.

    1. you mean Reginaldo Leme?

  43. Perhaps Nelsinho could start rebuilding his racing career in demolition derby, I hear the require fearless drivers not afraid to take risks :D

  44. Nelson

    time to release the single mate..

  45. He should be banned from motorsports for putting his own life and others at danger, just because the FIA is a joke and gave him a free pass (as well as that cheater Alonso) doesn’t mean team principals should.

  46. “Nelson Piquet Jr. wants F1 return”
    I want alot of things too that are never gonna happen.
    He had his shot and blew it. (Ooops…don’t say blow aroung NPJ)
    It is now time to move on. Let some deserving driver get a shot at F1.

  47. O–M–G !!!

    If I hear one more person use the terms “youthful ignorance” or “childish stupidity” or the like again, in an effort to explain or excuse the actions and behaviour Piquet JR, I swear I’ll puke.


    For heaven’s sake, he’s 24–that’s TWENTY FOUR–years old !

    At 16, perhaps, I can see a boy being pressured the way JR says he was pressured. At 24, one is supposed to be a man. At 24, I was married with a child, mortgage, 2 car payments and was an officer in my country’s Navy, responsible for the lives of over a hundred men.

    Piquet JR’s actions were despicable, any way you slice it. He willingly participated in a conspiracy to commit an act potentially dangerous to others in an attempt to alter the natural course of a race while said race was underway, and in fact did commit said act. And then he kept quiet about it, in fact declined to speak to Charlie Whiting in November of last year when his own father provided him with the opportunity to do so, and spoke out about it only after he was sacked by Briatore.

    His actions and behaviour have demonstrated he is without honor, morals, scruples, ethics or character.

    Yet now he would have us all turn a blind eye, and pop him into another F1 seat, so he can show everyone how talented he really is. Poppycock!

    I do not expect this to be forgiven or forgotten

    And that is the only portion of Piquet JR’s statement that indicates he still holds any tenuous grip on reality.

    I’ve commented elsewhere on my opinion of FiA’s decision on Momday, so I won’t inflict it on you here.

    And since FiA granted JR immunity in exchange for his evidence, FiA could not now ban him.

    But I sincerely hope there are enough intelligent people in F1 to deny Piquet JR another seat. Clearly, he did wrong and should be punished for it. And since the majority of folks appear to believe a lifetime without F1 is good for Briatore and Symonds (with which I agree, BTW), then I think the same should apply to the third conspiractor.

    1. @dsob:

      If I hear one more person use the terms “youthful ignorance” or “childish stupidity” or the like again,…, I swear I’ll puke.

      That’s too sweet to let pass ;-):
      Poor Nelsinho was just in his first season as a novice driver, just learning the harsh ways of F1. In a team you just obey orders, no questions asked. Every young man with honor and passion for the sport would do that. It is totally understandable and 90% of rookie drivers would have done the same if put into the same postion and pressure. And as a testimony to the impeccable character of this young lad, it was him who did the sacrifice and blew the whisle. Without this gracious act nobody would know about it and the F1 world would spin on as usual!!!

      dsob: quick, get a bucket …

      1. Move over dsob I need to share that bucket. Just me- i really hope you are exercising an over developed sense of sarcasm……………..I need to talk to huey down the big white telephone now. ;)

        1. No, Bigbadderboom, I am dead seriously serious ;-):

          Nelsinho made nothing but selfless sacrifices:
          1) He sacrificed his race and put his life and health on the line – for his buddy Alonso, his ‘uncle’ Flav and the greater good of the team (= FOM money for points)! Every military and especially navy sailor should appreciate the importance of a strict line of command and responsibility and should appreciate that orders are never questioned during battles (but may be disputed in a court marshal hearing way after the fact, as happened in this case).

          2) He hurt the back of his head during the crash: a self-less bearing of physical consequence of his sacrifice for the team.

          3) He kept (kinda) quiet, in spite of all the unjust and unequal treatment that was subsequently bestowed upon him – another self-less sacrifice – all for the well being of the team.

          4) Once the inhumane pressure under which all F1 drivers live, was relieved and the cloud fogging his sense of right-and-wrong was lifted, he took upon himself the biggest sacrifice of all: putting his future brilliant F1-career behind the greater good of mankind and tell the sleeping FIA and the rest of the world what really happened to prevent future generations of drivers to have to suffer through the same treatment and pressures.

          Nelsinho should be celebrated, not damned.

          (Plz make sure the bucket doesn’t overflow :-) )

          1. “BUCKET PLEASE!”
            Mr. Half Nelson needs a crash course in driving, period!

  48. It could be argued that double standards are in operation here if NPJ isn’t allowed to race in F1 again, in light of what other drivers have done in the past: Prost, Senna, Schumacher.

    As far as I’m concerned there are two immediate reasons as to why NPJ shouldn’t race in F1.
    1. Successes in F3 and GP2 doesn’t automatically mean that you’re good enough for F1 – as many other drivers have found out – and in my opinion NPJ just isn’t good enough. With these recent events, he also comes across as being mentally weak. Also, in light of how the Piquet’s have behaved towards Renault, would any team want to enter a contract with them?

    2. There’s also the good of the sport to consider. F1’s image isn’t exactly in a good state. It needs cleaning up; that includes the FIA as well as the teams. The sport is going through some new changes, and with the new concorde agreement signed and a new president on the horizon (let’s hope it’s Vartanen) now is a good time to send a message out that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated in F1. So show NPJ the door and make sure he doesn’t bash into the door frame on his way out.

  49. Can’t abide a stool-pigeon, I wouldn’t have him in my regiment, the chap can’t be trusted.. What next he gets chucked from a team and informs FIA that the car has a hidden turbo charger etc.. Brazilian taxi driver material.. NEXT!

  50. He deserves a second chance; he didn’t get enough support to prove his true potential, he just needs a better manager as Briatore is the devil himself.

    1. What he deserves is his super license revocked, and to serve a lengthy time in exile away from all forms of quality motorsport.
      What he has done to F1 is unforgivable in my opinion. He is trying to play the hard done by, innocent, naive, exploited young man part. When in fact he is the one that has exploited a position that he created. His father has tried to exploit the position through alleged blackmail, when he should have been using his immense experience to guide his son through his early F1 years. Young Nelson must have a fundamental understanding of wrong from right, and he should have used some of the private education to conclude that crashing a car deliberatley is perhaps not in keeping with the ideals of a sport where his father won 3 world crowns. OMG I’m bloody furious with young Nelson, he has destroyed an opportunity that nearly all of us can only dream of.

  51. on your bike Jr

  52. Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were all proven to have crashed their cars deliberately and won 14 world championships between them.

    Enough said

    1. ^^^ wow this guy speaks the truth

    2. They also won lots of races and rarely crashed when it wasn’t on purpose….Piquet on the other hand, had a hard time not crashing and rarely scored points….and never won.

  53. I wouldn’t call him a coward… slamming into that wall with your foot still on the gas?? That wasn’t cowardice, no way. No more than any soldier ordered to follow a damned stupid order and feels he doesn’t have a choice, but follows it and gets shot is a coward.

    Everyone is being high and mighty and saying they would have said no, but the evidence of 50 odd years of psychological investigations is that almost no-one says no to a direct order from what they perceive as an authority figure, and whatever you think of Flav, he was clearly that to Piquet.

    And the surest way to get someone to say comply is a) isolate them so they have no-one else to confirm the behaviour with and b)outnumber them – as Flav and Pat did.

    This is not just ‘Nazis obeying orders’ stuff, this is how organisations from Mafia families, to hunter gather tribes, to ordinary big businesses are controlled, often by someone unsuitable who could theoretically easily be overthrown but so rarely are. They aren’t because there’s something innate in 95%+ of humans that says yes when given an order.

    Interestingly, if even one person is there to back you up when you feel you’re right and should question what’s being suggested, suddenly nearly half of people rebel, even if outnumbered. Had they asked Piquet a week in advance and he’d had time to think and talk to his dad etc, he almost certainly wouldn’t have done it.

    1. Don’t compare brave soldiers following orders with a stupid kid with no backbone driving a car, that is extremely disrespectful to the men and women who fight and an illogical comparison.

      1. Choltz is 110% correct.

        Also, the cowardice came when he waited a year to speak up and only did so because he didn’t get his way.

        Civilians are not required to follow orders.

        1. You can’t be 110% correct, only 100%. But pedantry aside, I’m afraid you’ve both entirely missed my point, which is not an ‘illogical comparison’ but a well established behaviour pattern backed up by decades of research, viz: people naturally follow not only orders, but even simple requests, from anyone with a semblance of authority.

          I can assure you both I intended no disrespect to any members of our armed forces especially now when they’re so hard pressed in Afghanistan, I wasn’t referring to them at all.

          But rather to ‘the soldier’ as a general abstract concept. I’d remind you that it was Soviet soldiers following orders who murdered Polish officers, German soldiers following orders that my grandmother’s brothers had to face at the Somme and my dad did over Berlin… And indeed if you gaze around the world at all the armed forces of all the countries and all the wars they’ve been engaged in over the years… for the vast majority of them I have no respect whatsoever. The French troops who raped and pillaged Spain at the start of the 19th century for example… following orders, and behaving reprehensibly. Israel’s troops in Lebanon in the 1980s… Rwandan troops in the Congo… no, I have no respect for them either… but I’m sure someone called them brave, and there are thousands… indeed millions more. The notion that soldiers are ‘brave’ is I’m afraid, largely untrue. Most soldiers of history have been scared conscripts, and brutal more than brave.

          Besides, civilians are required to follow orders every day of their lives, what do you think traffic lights and laws are? Have you never disagreed with a boss or a teacher or a lecturer or a doctor or a magistrate but done what they asked anyway? Never? Even if you felt your whole career depended on it? Something you’d worked towards all your life?

          If so, then hats off, to you. Or maybe, like most people, you’ve never been in that situation and didn’t have to make such a decision.

          1. I agree with Daffid.

  54. i agree he should have his super licence taken away for 2-3 years and for going along with crashing in Singapore the stupid back marker known as Piquet should not be allowed to come back to f1 again for 2-3 years but i know how it works with this kid saw it in gp2 he expects papa to fund a driving career for a driver that has always been a back marker and has never really produced any quality results in f1 i think thank god we got rid of the 2 worst drivers in the sport Piquet and laughable failure Bordais god he was the worst in open wheel cars

  55. As was the case with Hamilton, true character came forward under pressure from senior team members who want to win at all costs.
    He has nobody to blame for where he is but himself.
    Contrary to his father’s and his belief he is not a world champion calibre driver and never will be now he is tainted with this event.
    As to getting a ride in F1 or any other major motor sports series, he is poisoned his own future.

  56. Hamilton was only sorry because he got caught and Piquet Jnr only spoke when he felt like it. I have no sympathy for any driver that cheats they get paid millions or already have millions and they try to act like they are just a child with no support and no knowledge on how demanding the sport is. for the love of god these people have more education, money, lawyers and agents then we all do put together and they are spoiled rotten. If i do something like steal plans, crash a company car on purpose or lie about something serious i wont get immunity i would be sacked and arrested and probably banged up.

    he should never drive again for a serious scam like that because it just prooves he is willing to cheat to win and i dont like guys like him. and as long as i will live i will put banners up on F1 tracks “get out of F1 you cheater” if he ever drives again.

  57. Another point in relation to “order” is that it could almost be assumed by reading some of these self righteous comments, is that it was Piquet’s idea to crash in the first place. Conversely, I do think he deserves some form of punishment for his ignorance, not a life ban or anything stupid like that just some time to reflect. The issue of the timing of his “coming forward” is and always was his prerogative. After all, without his allegations the whole debacle would not have been dealt with, a much greater crime in my opinion. Last but not least please don’t try and tell me Alonso wasn’t privy to what was going on. I think he deserves some form of punishment also. All in all now that I have written my view I realise how irrelevant and agenda based this article by Keith is. The only question I have is, what is the agenda, Keith?

    1. of course not a life ban but for the amount of crap piquet brought down on not only the FIA but Renault when he could have easily been a man and kept him mouth shut, but no now he comes back and says hey guys forget everything bad that came out of my mouth and except me back in to FIA competition right away with no penalty screw that he should have his super licence taken away for 10+ years that way we can be safe in the knowledge that we can just race and not have to deal the child piquet and childish and foolish bulls**t

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