Nelson Piquet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about Nelson Piquet Souto Maior, former Formula One World Champion. For his son, the former F1 and current NASCAR driver, see Nelson Piquet, Jr. For other uses, see Nelson Piquet (disambiguation).
Nelson Piquet
Nelson Piquet Souto Maior.jpg
Piquet in 2013
Born Nelson Piquet Souto Maior
(1952-08-17) 17 August 1952 (age 62)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Brazil Brazilian
Active years 19781991
Teams Ensign, non-works McLaren, Brabham, Williams, Lotus, Benetton
Races 207 (204 starts)
Championships 3 (1981, 1983, 1987)
Wins 23
Podiums 60
Career points 481.5 (485.5)[1]
Pole positions 24
Fastest laps 23
First race 1978 German Grand Prix
First win 1980 United States Grand Prix West
Last win 1991 Canadian Grand Prix
Last race 1991 Australian Grand Prix

Nelson Piquet Souto Maior (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈnɛwsõ piˈke], born August 17, 1952), known as Nelson Piquet, is a Brazilian former racing driver and businessman. Since his retirement, Piquet has been ranked among the greatest Formula One drivers in various motorsport polls.[2][3]

Piquet had a brief career in tennis before losing interest in the sport and subsequently took up karting and hid his identity to prevent his father discovering his hobby. He became the Brazilian national karting champion in 1971-72 and won the Formula Vee championship in 1976. With advice from Emerson Fittipaldi, Piquet went to Europe to further success by taking the record number of wins in Formula Three in 1978, defeating Jackie Stewart's all-time record.

In the same year, he made his Formula One debut with the Ensign team and drove for McLaren and Brabham. In 1979, Piquet moved to the Brabham team and finished the runner-up in 1980 before winning the championship in 1981. Piquet's poor performances in 1982 saw a resurgence for 1983 and his second world championship. For 1984-85, Piquet had once again lost chances to win the championship but managed to score three wins during that period. He moved to the Williams team in 1986 and was a title contender until the final round in Australia. Piquet took his third and final championship in 1987 during a heated battle with team-mate Nigel Mansell which left the pair's relationship sour. Piquet subsequently moved to Lotus for 1988-89 where he experienced his third drop in form. He eventually went to the Benetton team for 1990-91 where he managed to win three races before retiring.[4]

After retiring from Formula One, Piquet tried his hand at the Indianapolis 500 for two years. He also tried his hand at sports car racing during and after his Formula One career. Piquet is currently retired and runs several businesses in Brazil and manages his son Nelson Piquet Jr.

Early life and career[edit]

Piquet was born in Rio de Janeiro,[citation needed] then the capital of Brazil, the son of Estácio Gonçalves Souto Maior, a Brazilian politician. His father moved his family to the new capital, Brasília, in 1960 and became Minister for Health in João Goulart's government (1961–64).[5][6] Piquet had two brothers, Alexis, and Geraldo, and a sister Genusa. Piquet was the youngest of the children.[7]

Piquet started kart racing at the age of 14,[8] but because his father did not approve of his racing career, he used his mother's maiden name Piquet (of French origin and pronounced as "Pee-Kè") misspelt as Piket to hide his identity.

His father wanted Piquet to be a professional tennis player and was given a scholarship at a school in Atlanta. Piquet started playing tennis at the age of 11. He eventually won tournaments in Brazil and eventually took a trip to California to test his skill against tougher American players. During his time, he had learned to speak English and greatly matured. His short tennis career saw Piquet to be prized as a good player, but not thought sufficiently exciting for the sport to devote his career to motor racing.[9]

Piquet dropped out of a University two years into an engineering course in 1974. He was subsequently employed in a garage.[9]

Upon returning to Brazil, Piquet and three friends brought a 20 hp cart and participated in Brazilian go-karting (1971 and 1972 national champion) and in the local Formula Super Vee 1976 championship, on the advice of Emerson Fittipaldi, the first Brazilian Formula One world champion who sold the chassis for the Brazilian Formula Vee champion car with his brother,[10] he arrived in European motor sports hailed as a prodigy. In the 1978 British Formula 3 season he broke Jackie Stewart's record of the most wins in a season.[9]

Formula One[edit]

Piquet made his Formula One debut for Ensign in Germany, starting 21st only to retire on lap 31 with a broken engine. After the race, Piquet signed a deal with the McLaren of BS Fabrications to race in the next three races, where he left good impressions. The deal was negotiated when BS Fabrications employees met Piquet when he was driving at Brands Hatch. His best finish was ninth in Italy.[11]

Brabham (1978–1985)[edit]

For the last race in 1978, Piquet moved to the Brabham team; he qualified in 14th and finished 11th. Piquet stayed with Brabham until 1985.

1979[edit]

In 1979, Piquet competed in his first full season in Formula One. He once again drove for the Brabham team, alongside double world champion, Niki Lauda. Season was difficult for the garage, which was accustomed to success. Piquet retired from eleven of the fifteen races in the season. The first point of his career came at the Dutch Grand Prix, where he finished fourth. He had a huge accident at the Italian Grand Prix; the rear section of his BT48 was completely ripped off; he walked away uninjured. But 2 weeks later, Lauda abruptly quit driving, before the start of the Canadian Grand Prix, leaving Piquet as the number one driver for Brabham[12] In the final race, the United States Grand Prix, Piquet started from the front row and took the fastest lap in the race.

1980[edit]

Piquet driving for Brabham at the 1980 Dutch Grand Prix

In 1980, Piquet finished 2nd in Argentina behind Alan Jones. There were doubts about the legality of the car as it was believed to be underweight. Jones went to see the car which gave the suspicion that ballast had been added to bring the car within the regulations to make it legal.[13] In Canada, Piquet started from pole and took an immediate lead before Jones retired in an accident which forced the race to be stopped. Piquet's car sustained damage and used the reserve car for the restart. He eventually retired with a problem with the car.[14]

Piquet took his first win at the United States Grand Prix West by over 50 seconds from Riccardo Patrese.[15] The next two races in the Netherlands and Italy saw back to back wins for Piquet. He finished second in the drivers' standings, 13 points behind title winner Alan Jones.[16]

1981[edit]

Piquet driving the Cosworth powered Brabham BT49C at the 1981 Monaco Grand Prix.

The season began with the cancellation of the South African Grand Prix from the calendar which was won by Carlos Reutemann with Piquet second, to continue the controversy between FISA (supported by the Italian teams and Renault who defected from the race) and FOCA.[17] He began the season after reaching an agreement that banned the skirts and required a minimum ground clearance, the car, excluding tires of 6 cm.

After a third place in the United States Grand Prix West, Piquet left in pole position in his home race, the Brazilian Grand Prix, but with the wet track pointed to a rapid improvement in the atmospheric and mounted slicks had compromised his race. The next Argentine Grand Prix Brabham got around the rule by adopting a correction of the minimum set-up which, while making it appear the car to regular audits, was lower during the race making it once again become a wing-car. The superiority of the car was such that Piquet swept to victory and even his teammate Hector Rebaque, who usually sailed in the rear, managed to retain second place until he was forced to retire. At the San Marino Grand Prix. almost all teams adopted the newness brought to Argentina by Brabham. Piquet won the race despite being caught out by rain.

In the Belgian Grand Prix, after an initial start, a mechanic, which was perilously allowed the presence on the board to repair the car of Riccardo Patrese, the race and Piquet went off again in the lead, but Jones on lap ten made contact, which forced him to retire.[18] with the race having been won by Reutemann. Piquet was able to recover at the French Grand Prix where he dominated until lap 58, when a sudden storm led to the interruption of the race, then the organizers decided to wait until the end of rain to continue the race and after 45 minutes, at the restart, Alain Prost appeared much more competitive after mechanical work performed during the break and won his first Grand Prix with Piquet relegated to third place.,[19] in the next race The British Grand Prix, Reutemann finished second reached to increase to a seventeen-point lead in the standings.

Piquet won the championship with a great comeback that began when he won the German Grand Prix while Reutemann was opposed within his team.[20] The Brazilian Grand Prix last reached a point behind Reutemann. At the Caesars Palace Grand Prix in Las Vegas. Piquet finished fifth to clinch the championship but he had to be lifted out his car due to exhaustion from the heat.[21]

1982[edit]

The following year, Piquet was fast but his car proved to be unreliable despite Brabham entering into an alliance with BMW to supply the team with turbocharged engines. Brabham later reverted to using Ford-Cosworth engines. Piquet won the Brazilian Grand Prix and fainted while collecting his trophy on the podium. Piquet was later disqualified for his car being underweight from a protest from Renault and Ferrari.[22] The lowpoint of the season was Detroit where he failed to qualify due to an engine failure in qualifying. The ruiling of Piquet's disqualification led to a political attack on the lowering of the minimum weight against Ferrari and Renault who used turbo engines. Ferrari's changes to the rear wing at the United States Grand Prix West and the disqualification of Gilles Villeneuve after the race caused the FOCA teams to boycott the San Marino Grand Prix.

His only win was in the Canadian Grand Prix which was also BMW's first win in Formula One. In Germany, Piquet arrived to help Didier Pironi after he suffered a high-speed crash during practice. In the race, Piquet was leading until he collided with Eliseo Salazar whom he physically attacked at the side of the track.

1983[edit]

Piquet won the opening race in Brazil and followed this up with a retirement in the United States West Grand Prix. He scored a second place in France and took another second at Monaco also taking the fastest lap. During the Italian Grand Prix, Piquet trailed team-mate Riccardo Patrese for the first two laps but came back to win a near-dominant race when he led 49 out of 52 laps.[23] Piquet won his second title at the South African Grand Prix after a long battle with Alain Prost.[24] It also was the first time a turbocharged car won the championship, and was BMW's first and only championship in Formula 1.

1984[edit]

Piquet driving a Brabham BT53 in the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix.

With the new rule that limited the capacity of the tanks of the cars to 220 liters and forbade race refueling, Piquet started as the title favorite [25] because it was thought that the 4-cylinder BMW would suffer less from the new fuel economy requirement than the 6-cylinder competition. The winter tests seemed to confirm the expectations, and in fact the car showed promise,[26] but the expected results never materialised. The only good thing that came from the tests was the creation of special qualifying engines, which produced more than 900 hp and allowed Piquet to match what was then the record for pole positions in a year: nine, already held by Lauda and Ronnie Peterson.

The season was dominated by the McLaren team who were using TAG-Porsche engines. In Canada, the Brabham team introduced a curious additional radiator on the nose that was mounted on the car that improved reliability. Piquet won the race (after having retired from the previous 6 races, mostly through engine or turbo failure), but the additional radiator heated to the point that Piquet suffered burns on his right foot when pushing the accelerator pedal down; The heat had actually burnt a hole through his boots and he went to the podium barefoot after receiving first aid. He managed take a back-to-back win at Detroit after driving his backup car due to an accident that occurred at the start of the race.[27] These were his only two victories of the year. In Spielberg he could have won as the car of leading Niki Lauda suffered a loss of gears, but Piquet was unaware and did not attack.[28] Piquet finished in 5th place in the championship.

1985[edit]

Piquet driving the BMW powered Brabham BT54 at the 1985 German Grand Prix in his last year with the team.

Prior to the 1985 season, Piquet and Brabham conducted their winter testing at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa, along with the teams new tyre supplier Pirelli. It was through this testing that Pirelli came up with the tyre compounds they would use during the season. Unfortunately, unlike the hot conditions in South Africa, most of the European part of the season took place in unseasonably cold weather. This, and the Brabham BT54's weight distribution towards the back of the car saw the Pirelli tyres (especially the fronts) largely ineffective and left Piquet often fast, but ultimately uncompetitive.

In 1985, Piquet won a single race, the French Grand Prix at the Paul Ricard Circuit with summer conditions similar to those experienced in testing suiting the tyres, and the powerful BMW turbo engine propelling the Brabham BT54 (of team mate Marc Surer) to the then F1 speed record of 338 km/h (210 mph) on the 1.8 km long Mistral Straight during qualifying. It was Pirelli's first victory since returning to Formula One. Already negotiating with other teams in mid-season because of poor results, it was widely questioned where Piquet would end up. In fact Piquet was in contact with McLaren,[29] but then settled at Williams in place of Keke Rosberg who ironically ended up at McLaren. Williams offered him a contract worth three times as much as his Brabham contract, and with the turbocharged Honda engine used by Williams quickly becoming one of the best on the grid, it was an offer too good to refuse. At the end of the year, Piquet reluctantly left Brabham after seven seasons and two world championships.

Williams (1986–1987)[edit]

1986[edit]

A move in 1986 to Williams saw Piquet becoming the team-mate of one of his fiercest rivals, Nigel Mansell. It was reported that Honda were paying the bulk of his USD $3.3 million contract. Both were regarded as high-strung characters with delicate temperaments. Two top drivers in the same team was a recipe for fireworks - and sure enough Mansell and Piquet went head to head for the title. Piquet had wanted to play the role as the number one driver. According to Piquet, the verbal agreement with Frank Williams on this point were clear, and Williams' comment that in signing Piquet he had "signed the best driver in the world" seemed to back that up. However, shortly before the beginning of the season, Frank Williams suffered a serious car accident that kept him away from the team for a long time and caused a permanent physical disability. The team was then led by technical director Patrick Head, who was also the team's Technical Director and Mansell's race engineer.[30]

Though the two drove what were clearly the best cars on the grid, their rivalry caused each to deprive the other of points, allowing Alain Prost to win one of the closest and most fiercely disputed championships ever in Formula One. The season began well with Piquet dominating the Brazilian Grand Prix and at the next the race, the San Marino Grand Prix, Piquet finished second behind Prost. During the season, fellow Brazilian and former dual-World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi estimated that Piquet could not commit more driving errors early in the season when he was judged as the best driver in the field.

Piquet (and reportedly Honda) left Adelaide following the 1986 Australian Grand Prix fuming that Williams had not honoured their contract and had allowed Mansell to win races instead of ordering him to let the Brazilian by. Had Mansell let Piquet pass to take some extra wins, Piquet could have easily won the championship, instead of the two of them being beaten by Prost in what was an inferior car (though Prost did manage 11 podium finishes, including 4 wins). Ironically, in this season Piquet won one more races (a total of four) than he would in any of his championship-winning campaigns.

1987[edit]

Piquet made amends in 1987, using political maneuvering and technical skill to gain the upper hand. At times during the season, the rift between himself and Mansell was evident, as Mansell was showing superior speed in qualifying and races. Piquet had also admitted to "not ever being quite right" after his qualifying crash for Round 2 at Imola. He was ordered by FISA's medical chief, Prof. Sid Watkins, not to race due to the concussion he suffered when his Williams hit the wall at high speed at the Tamburello curve.[31] He was offered by RAI to join Mario Poltronieri and Clay Regazzoni to comment on the race.[32] Piquet, who had maintained friendly relations within the commentary box, sent Ezio Zermiani.[33] Piquet accepted improvising as a commentator, but beyond the short journalistic experience, Piquet complained at year-end about the fact that the incident had left strong psychological effects in its aftermath which had caused insomnia.

Despite winning fewer races than Mansell in 1987, Piquet emerged as world champion. From Detroit to Portugal, he never finished off the podium, racking up points in what he called his "percentage driving policy" in his successful bid to win his 3rd championship. Piquet announced during practice for the 1987 Hungarian Grand Prix that he had signed with Lotus as the undisputed number 1 driver, a position he claimed was promised at Williams from 1986, but was never honored following Frank Williams' car crash. It was also believed this was a big factor in Honda dropping Williams and moving to McLaren for 1988, despite another year left in the contract. The Japanese, who paid most of Piquet's salary, considered him to be the number 1 and were privately fuming that Williams management didn't reign in Mansell and allow Piquet an easier time.

Lotus (1988–1989)[edit]

Piquet driving for Lotus at the 1988 Canadian Grand Prix, leading Nigel Mansell in a Williams.

1988[edit]

Nelson Piquet and the number 1 went to a stagnating Lotus team in 1988, and his career took a nose dive despite the Camel sponsored Lotus 100T having the same specification Honda V6 turbo that powered the McLarens of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Nelson, who had 20 wins and 3 World Championships following the 1987 season, began to lose his reputation when he had no wins in 1988, losing his number one status to fellow Brazilian Senna, who won 8 races and the championship for McLaren (Prost won 7 races, while Piquet could only manage three 3rd place finishes for the season).

In early 1988 he resorted to using the media to attack his rivals and gained a reputation as an outspoken "loose cannon", such as attacking Mansell and his wife, calling Mansell "an uneducated blockhead" (and insulting his wife's looks), and calling fellow Senna "the São Paulo taxi driver"[21] and stating that he "doesn't like women".[34] Piquet retracted his comments when both threatened legal action. He also earned the ire of the Tifosi at the San Marino Grand Prix when he said in an interview with Playboy (Brazil) that Scuderia Ferrari might do better as a team if the boss (Enzo Ferrari) was a younger man instead of the 90-year-old one who rarely attended races due to his age and failing health. Piquet claims he was badly misquoted in the interview, which also had him questioning Alain Prost's standing as the best driver in the world. On the official FIA video review of the 1988 season, Piquet left no doubts that the article got it wrong in his comments about Ferrari (saying that at 90, Enzo Ferrari had to be a strong man to run a Formula One team), and that he considered Prost to be the world's best driver.

1989[edit]

Piquet had a dismal 1989 season, driving a Judd V8-powered Lotus which had 125 less hp than the Honda V10s used by McLaren. He (and team mate Satoru Nakajima) once again had no wins and they both even failed to qualify for the 1989 Belgian Grand Prix, Piquet's first non-qualification since the 1982 Detroit Grand Prix. On what was his last attempt to qualify at Spa, Piquet lost his chance when he was slowed by rookie Frenchman Olivier Grouillard, who had gained a reputation throughout the season as a blocker.

Benetton (1990–1991)[edit]

1990[edit]

When Lotus informed Piquet during 1989 that they would be using the Lamborghini V12 engine for 1990, the triple World Champion decided to leave the team claiming that there had not been enough development of the V12 during its debut year with Larrousse in 1989 and that the team would be uncompetitive using the Italian engine.

The late season announcement by Lotus meant that there were almost no seats left with one of the top teams (McLaren, Ferrari and Williams), leaving Piquet with the unenviable possibility of not having a drive for 1990. However, the Benetton team had a seat become available when they decided not to retain fill-in driver Emanuele Pirro. After two lacklustre seasons at Lotus, Piquet was forced to sign an incentive based payment-by-results deal with Benetton, who had exclusive use of the factory Ford HB4 V8 engine. This saw Piquet return to something like his former top form in 1990. Despite a handful of lacklustre performances and sometimes being outperformed by fast Italian team mate Alessandro Nannini who would tragically lose his right forearm in a helicopter crash following the Spanish Grand Prix forcing his F1 retirement (his arm was surgically re-attached), Piquet scored two wins in the last two races of the season. The first in Japan was somewhat inherited after Senna had taken out Prost's Ferrari at the first turn, and both Gerhard Berger (McLaren) and Mansell (Ferrari) retired. It was his first win since the 1987 Italian Grand Prix. The second was just two weeks later at the last race of the season in Australia when after a great drive, Piquet survived a spirited, but fair, challenge from the V12 Ferrari of Mansell to win what was the 500th World Championship Formula One Grand Prix. His 18 points from the last two races saw him move from 7th in the standings (25 points) to finishing 3rd in the championship with 43. Piquet and Gerhard Berger both scored 43 points (Nelson had scored 44 but was forced to drop 1 point under the "Best 11" rule of the time), but Piquet's two wins, where Berger won none, saw him finish 3rd.

1991[edit]

This was followed by the final win of his F1 career at Montreal in 1991 - again at the expense of longtime rival Mansell, whose Williams-Renault stalled past the old pits on the last lap while leading. In late 1991, Piquet's team-mate Roberto Moreno was replaced by Michael Schumacher, who remained for the rest of the season. He had talked to the Ligier and Ferrari teams about securing a drive, but Piquet then announced his retirement from Formula One in January 1992 to concentrate on his business activities.[35]

Other racing ventures[edit]

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Piquet attempted to race in the Indy car series and was hired by Team Menard to drive in the 1992 Indianapolis 500. He had taken to the track well, and appeared comfortable driving at high speeds despite never before racing on an oval. During practice, Piquet's car ran over a metallic piece of debris and drove through turn 3 at full speed. But when driving through turn 4, Piquet abruptly took his foot off the pedal to enter the pit lane, which resulted in his hitting the wall. Piquet suffered serious foot and ankle injuries and was forced to sit out the race.[36] He returned after rehabilitation in 1993 and managed to qualify. He started in 13th position, but finished in 32nd, dropping out with engine problems after only 38 laps.

Sports cars[edit]

Piquet driving a BMW M1 sports car at the Nürburgring in 1980.

Alongside Formula One, Piquet took part in the 1000km Nürburgring in 1980 and 1981 driving a BMW M1. He won the 1981 race alongside the German Hans-Joachim Stuck. However, the race had to be stopped roughly two hours in because of a the fatal crash of Herbert Müller after 17 laps of the 14-mile (23 km) course.[37]

In 1996, Piquet competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours driving a McLaren F1 GTR alongside Johnny Cecotto and Danny Sullivan, finishing eighth overall. In the following year, Piquet took part alongside JJ Lehto and Steve Soper, but the car was retired due to an accident that occurred while Lehto was driving.

On January 20, 2006, Nelson Piquet won the 50th edition of the Mil Milhas Brasileiras (Brazilian 1,000 miles) at the Interlagos circuit. He drove an Aston Martin DBR9 alongside his son, Nelsinho, and drivers Christophe Bouchut and Hélio Castroneves. At the end of the race, an exhausted Piquet was quoted saying to a friend he would “never sit in a cockpit again”.

Driver management[edit]

Since 2000, he has supported the career of his son, Nelson Piquet, Jr., who drove in the F1-feeder category GP2 for 2 seasons, achieving a best championship result of second with four race wins, and was a test driver for Renault F1 in 2007.

During the Crashgate scandal, Piquet pledged to use his wealth to find out why his son had been ordered by the Renault team to crash deliberately during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.[38] He and his son were eventually paid a six-figure sum for costs and libel damages.[39]

Business ventures[edit]

Upon leaving motor sport, he founded Autotrac in 1994, a company that provides mobile data messaging and tracking of customers' trucks by satellite (GPS tracking).[40] This business concluded quite successfully as the pioneer because the freight transportation of Brazil depended on trucks.

Piquet founded a racing team, Piquet Sports, in 2000. The purpose was to help the participation of Nelson Piquet, Jr. in Formula Three Sudamericana. It was founded eight months before Nelson Junior turned 16.[41]

Piquet runs some other businesses, based in Brasília.

Personal life[edit]

Known as a practical joker, Piquet lived a stereotypically playboy racing driver lifestyle, earning and losing and earning again a series of small fortunes in his business dealings. He remains a competitive driver in sports car racing, albeit more for fun than with serious intent. Never a fan of street circuits (save for Adelaide in Australia), he was critical of the Monaco Grand Prix by famously stating Monaco was like "riding a bicycle around your living room", but that "a win there was worth two anywhere else".[42]

Piquet entered into a first marriage with Brazilian Maria Clara in 1976 with the marriage lasting for one year. They have one son, Geraldo Piquet (born 17 November 1977) His second marriage to Dutchwoman Sylvia Tamsma produced three children, Nelson Angelo Piquet (born 25 June 1985), Kelly Piquet (born 7 December 1988), and Julia Piquet (born 8 May 1992). Laszlo Piquet was born in 1987, but his mother is Katherine Valentin (Piquet's girlfriend while he was temporarily separated from Sylvia).[43][44] He is currently married to Brazilian Viviane de Souza Leão and they have two children, Pedro Estacio Piquet (born 1999) and Marco Piquet (born 2000).[43][44]

On July 31, 2007, Piquet, after repeated speeding and parking offenses, was stripped of his civilian driving licence and ordered by the Brazilian courts to attend a week of lessons in order to "learn good and safe driving conduct", and to then pass an exam. His wife Viviane received the same sentence. "I think we have to pay for our mistakes," Piquet told Brazilian media. "It's not just a speeding problem, I got tickets for all kinds of reasons, like parking where I shouldn't."[45]

He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2000 and two racing circuits in Rio de Janeiro (formerly the Jacarepaguá Circuit) and in Brasília have been named "Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet", though the Rio circuit has since been demolished to make way for venues to be used in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, with Rio de Janeiro the host city. Since his retirement, Piquet has been ranked among the greatest Formula One drivers. He was ranked 13th by Autosport in 2009,[46] and 16th by BBC Sport in 2012.[21]

In a 2012 interview on Brazilian TV with himself and former Williams team mate Nigel Mansell, Piquet revealed that he had never been right after his accident at Imola in 1987. The crash caused him to lose some 80% of his depth perception and saw him secretly visit a hospital in Milan every two weeks through the season fearing that if he told his team they would not let him drive. He went on to say that he should have won the championship in 1986 and Mansell should have won in 1987, and that after 1987 he drove for the money as due to his condition he was no longer able to lead races from the front (each of his six wins following his Imola accident were inherited from others dropping out late).

On 11 November 2013, Piquet underwent heart surgery from which he is recovering well.[47]

Helmet[edit]

Piquet Sr.'s helmet is white with red and black designs that resemble a Stylised Tennis Ball (possibly due to his father wanting him to be a tennis player) and red or orange drops on its sides and a red or orange circle in the top (the drops were yellow during his Lotus years due to the Camel sponsorship, and reverted to a deep red when he left Lotus for Benetton). His son followed his helmet design.

Racing record[edit]

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Yr Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points[1]
1978 Team Tissot Ensign Ensign N177 Cosworth V8 ARG BRA RSA USW MON BEL ESP SWE FRA GBR GER
Ret
NC 0
BS Fabrications McLaren M23 AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
9
USA
Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT46 Alfa Romeo Flat-12 CAN
11
1979 Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT46 Alfa Romeo Flat-12 ARG
Ret
15th 3
Brabham BT48 Alfa Romeo V12 BRA
Ret
RSA
7
USW
8
ESP
Ret
BEL
Ret
MON
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
12
AUT
Ret
NED
4
ITA
Ret
Brabham BT49 Cosworth V8 CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
1980 Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49 Cosworth V8 ARG
2
BRA
Ret
RSA
4
USW
1
BEL
Ret
MON
3
FRA
4
GBR
2
GER
4
AUT
5
NED
1
ITA
1
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
2nd 54
1981 Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49C Cosworth V8 USW
3
BRA
12
ARG
1
SMR
1
BEL
Ret
MON
Ret
ESP
Ret
FRA
3
GBR
Ret
GER
1
AUT
3
NED
2
ITA
6
CAN
5
CPL
5
1st 50
1982 Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT50 BMW S4 (t/c) RSA
Ret
BEL
5
MON
Ret
DET
DNQ
CAN
1
NED
2
GBR
Ret
FRA
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
SUI
4
ITA
Ret
CPL
Ret
11th 20
Brabham BT49D Cosworth V8 BRA
DSQ
USW
Ret
SMR
1983 Fila Sport Brabham BT52 BMW S4 (t/c) BRA
1
USW
Ret
FRA
2
SMR
Ret
MON
2
BEL
4
DET
4
CAN
Ret
1st 59
Brabham BT52B GBR
2
GER
13
AUT
3
NED
Ret
ITA
1
EUR
1
RSA
3
1984 MRD International Brabham BT53 BMW S4 (t/c) BRA
Ret
RSA
Ret
BEL
9
SMR
Ret
FRA
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
1
DET
1
DAL
Ret
GBR
7
GER
Ret
AUT
2
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
EUR
3
POR
6
5th 29
1985 Motor Racing Developments Ltd Brabham BT54 BMW S4 (t/c) BRA
Ret
POR
Ret
SMR
8
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
DET
6
FRA
1
GBR
4
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
8
ITA
2
BEL
5
EUR
Ret
RSA
Ret
AUS
Ret
8th 21
1986 Canon Williams Team Williams FW11 Honda V6 (t/c) BRA
1
ESP
Ret
SMR
2
MON
7
BEL
Ret
CAN
3
DET
Ret
FRA
3
GBR
2
GER
1
HUN
1
AUT
Ret
ITA
1
POR
3
MEX
4
AUS
2
3rd 69
1987 Canon Williams Team Williams FW11B Honda V6 (t/c) BRA
2
SMR
DNS
BEL
Ret
MON
2
DET
2
FRA
2
GBR
2
GER
1
HUN
1
AUT
2
ITA
1
POR
3
ESP
4
MEX
2
JPN
15
AUS
Ret
1st 73 (76)
1988 Camel Team Lotus Honda Lotus 100T Honda V6 (t/c) BRA
3
SMR
3
MON
Ret
MEX
Ret
CAN
4
DET
Ret
FRA
5
GBR
5
GER
Ret
HUN
8
BEL
4
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
ESP
8
JPN
Ret
AUS
3
6th 22
1989 Camel Team Lotus Lotus 101 Judd V8 BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
Ret
MEX
11
USA
Ret
CAN
4
FRA
8
GBR
4
GER
5
HUN
6
BEL
DNQ
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
ESP
8
JPN
4
AUS
Ret
8th 12
1990 Benetton Formula Benetton B189B Ford V8 USA
4
BRA
6
3rd 43 (44)
Benetton B190 SMR
5
MON
DSQ
CAN
2
MEX
6
FRA
4
GBR
5
GER
Ret
HUN
3
BEL
5
ITA
7
POR
5
ESP
Ret
JPN
1
AUS
1
1991 Camel Benetton Ford Benetton B190B Ford V8 USA
3
BRA
5
6th 26.5
Benetton B191 SMR
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
1
MEX
Ret
FRA
8
GBR
5
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
3
ITA
6
POR
5
ESP
11
JPN
7
AUS
4

Formula One Non-Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2
1979 Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT48 Alfa Romeo Flat-12 ROC
2
DIN
1980 Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49 Cosworth V8 ESP
Ret
1981 Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49B Cosworth V8 RSA
2

Indy 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Entrant
1992 Lola Buick Practice Crash Menard
1993 Lola Buick 13th 32nd Menard

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1996 Italy Team Bigazzi
Germany Team BMW Motorsport
Venezuela Johnny Cecotto
United States Danny Sullivan
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 324 8th 6th
1997 Germany Team BMW Motorsport
Germany BMW Team Schnitzer
Finland JJ Lehto
United Kingdom Steve Soper
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 236 DNF DNF

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Up until 1990, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally (see list of points scoring systems for more information). Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
  2. ^ "Formula 1's Greatest Drivers - AUTOSPORT.com". F1greatestdrivers.autosport.com. Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  3. ^ "BBC Sport - Formula 1's greatest drivers.". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  4. ^ "Nelson Piquet Profile". grandprix.com. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Artes Digitais Ltda." (PDF) (in Portuguese). Artes Digitais Ltda. Retrieved 23 December 2007. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Estácio Gonçalves Souto Maior" (in Portuguese). Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporâna do Brasil (FGV/CPDOC). Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2007. 
  7. ^ Kärrkäinen, Juha (1997). Formula 1 Stars. p. 108. ISBN 952-5089-18-5. 
  8. ^ "Nelson Piquet". Grand Prix Hall of Fame. Retrieved 23 December 2007. 
  9. ^ a b c Zurkowsky, Herb (26 September 1981). "Nelson Piquet defied father to race". The Montreal Gazette. p. 105. 
  10. ^ "Hall of Fame: Nelson Piquet". Formula One official website. Retrieved 24 December 2007. 
  11. ^ Oliver, Michael. Tales from the Toolbox: A Collection of Behind-the-Scenes Tales from Grand Prix mechanics. Veloce Books. p. 122. 
  12. ^ Kärkkäinen, Juha (1997). Formula 1 stars. Alfamer. p. 110. ISBN 952-5089-18-5. 
  13. ^ John Cancellieri-Cesare De Agostini (1982). 33 years of Grand Prix championship-Vol.II. Conti Editore. p. 302. 
  14. ^ John Cancellieri-Cesare De Agostini (1982). 33 years of Grand Prix championship-Vol.II. Conti Editore. p. 316. 
  15. ^ "Brazil's Piquet is Grand Prix winner". Lodi News-Sentinel. 31 March 1980. p. 17. 
  16. ^ "Alan Jones beats Nelson Piquet to the title". ESPN. 1980. 
  17. ^ Cesare De Agostini, John-Chancellors (1982). 33 years of Grand Prix championship-Vol.II. Accounts Editor. p. 323. 
  18. ^ Cesare De Agostini, John-Chancellors (1982). 33 years of Grand Prix championship Vol.II-. Accounts Editor. p. 328. 
  19. ^ Piquet, Gian Paolo (6 July 1981). "mockery and triumph of Lucchinelli". p. 11. 
  20. ^ Cesare De Agostini, John-Chancellors (1982). 33 years of Grand Prix championship-Vol.II. Accounts Editor. p. 333. 
  21. ^ a b c Benson, Andrew (8 May 2012). "Formula 1's greatest drivers. Number 16: Nelson Piquet". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "Piquet, Rosberg disqualified". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 20 April 1982. p. 7B. 
  23. ^ "Italian win puts Piquet in bidding". Ottawa Citizen. 12 September 1983. p. 34. 
  24. ^ "Piquet Captures Prix of Europe". The New York Times. 26 September 1983. 
  25. ^ Adriano Costa (March 6, 1984). "Sorry Piquet, afraid us?". Maxi Autosprint. p. 2. 
  26. ^ "All days of the "six days" of South Africa". Autosprint. March 6, 1984. p. 16. 
  27. ^ "Piquet survives crash to capture title". The Evening Independent. 25 June 1984. p. 5C. 
  28. ^ Sieg ebnete Weg zum dritten WM-Titel, orf.at, 2014-06-18.
  29. ^ Charles and Prost (6 Aug 1985). "Where is the difference?" (in Italian). repubblica.it. p. 27. 
  30. ^ Autosprint n ° 26/86, p. 9.
  31. ^ "Obituary - Professor Sid Watkins OBE, 1928-2012". formula1.com. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  32. ^ Andrea De Adamich, Oscar Orefici (1987). F1 '87. Vallardi & Associates. p. 156. 
  33. ^ "Zermiani retires". quattroruote.it. 3 July 2006. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  34. ^ Chimits, Xavier. Grand Prix Racers: Portraits of Speed. Motorbooks. pp. 26–29. 
  35. ^ "Three-time world champion Piquet quits Formula One". New Straits Times. 15 January 1992. p. 45. 
  36. ^ Davidson, Donald; Schaffer, Rick. Autocourse Official Illustrated History of the Indianapolis 500. Autocourse. p. 270. 
  37. ^ "Die Sieger allergen ADAC 1000 km-rennen" (in German). ADAC 1000 km rennen. 23 April 2008. 
  38. ^ Mcevoy, Jonathan (18 September 2009). "Nelson Piquet to plough his fortune into fighting shamed Flavio Briatore in court". Daily Mail. 
  39. ^ Gibson, Owen (7 December 2010). "Renault apologise to Nelson Piquet and son over 'Crashgate' claims". The Guardian. 
  40. ^ "Presentation". Autotrac. Retrieved 23 December 2007. 
  41. ^ "O príncipe das pistas". Veja on-line. Retrieved 23 December 2007. 
  42. ^ Williams, Nicola (2010). Provence & the Côte d'Azur. Lonely Planet Publications. p. 227. 
  43. ^ a b per_page.php? id = 522 919 "Family". GeneAll.net. Retrieved 22 April 2008. 
  44. ^ a b "Biography". IMDb.com. 2008-04-22. 
  45. ^ Ex-F1 champ takes driving lessons
  46. ^ "F1's Greatest Drivers - Nelson Piquet Sr.". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  47. ^ "Triple Formula 1 champion Nelson Piquet undergoes heart surgery". autosport.com. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Derek Daly
British Formula Three Championship
BARC Series Champion

1978
Succeeded by
Chico Serra
(Combined championship)
Preceded by
Niki Lauda
Procar BMW M1 Champion
1980
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Alan Jones
Formula One World Champion
1981
Succeeded by
Keke Rosberg
Preceded by
Keke Rosberg
Formula One World Champion
1983
Succeeded by
Niki Lauda
Preceded by
Alain Prost
Formula One World Champion
1987
Succeeded by
Ayrton Senna
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Keke Rosberg
Autosport
International Racing Driver Award

1983
Succeeded by
Niki Lauda