|Nelson Piquet Jr.|
|P.O.B.||Heidelberg, West Germany|
|D.O.B.||25 July 1985|
|Date of Death||Unknown|
|Début||2014 Beijing ePrix|
|Teams|| NextEV NIO|
|Formula E Career|
|Total Entries||51 (51 Starts)|
|First Win||2015 Long Beach ePrix|
Nelson Ângelo Tamsma Piquet Souto Maior, son of legendary Brazilian racing driver and triple Formula One champion Nelson Piquet, is a former competitor and Champion of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, having competed between 2014/15 and 2018/19. Better known simply as Nelson Piquet Jr., the Brazilian would go down in the history books as the first FIA Formula E Champion, having won the title from Sébastien Buemi by just a single point at the season finale in London.
However, Piquet Jr. failed to match his season one exploits at all in the following two season, claiming just eight points in 2015/16. Another poor season in 2016/17 followed, prompting Piquet Jr. to leave NextEV NIO for Jaguar Racing. The Brazilian would enjoy a reasonable first season with Jaguar, ending the season in the top ten of the Championship for the first time since his title win.
Piquet would be re-signed by Jaguar for the 2018/19 season alongside Mitch Evans. However, after a disappointing start to the campaign Piquet left both Jaguar and the series, instead opting to focus on racing in his native Brazil.
Piquet's career began in karting, before he moved to the South American Formula 3 series in 2001, winning the title in his second season. A move to Britain followed in 2003, where Piquet entered the British Formula 3 championship, again claiming the title at the second attempt. 2005 saw Piquet compete in both the inaugural GP2 and A1 GP seasons, as well as get his first taste of Formula One, testing for Williams F1.
After coming second to Lewis Hamilton in the 2006 GP2 championship, Piquet signed for Renault as their official test driver in 2007, before being promoted to a full race seat in 2008. This move may not have been the best of Piquet's career, as his reputation was almost destroyed after it became clear he had deliberately crashed at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to allow team mate Fernando Alonso to take victory. These details emerged after Piquet had been dropped by Renault partway through 2009, with the Brazilian heading to America to race.
A few years in the junior NASCAR categories saw Piquet obtain a NASCAR Sprint Cup drive in 2014, alongside a drive in the Global RallyCross Championship.
Formula E History
Piquet was first approached by China Racing to test their Spark-Renault SRT-01Es at the final Donington Park test in 2014. Shortly before the 2014 Beijing ePrix, Piquet was confirmed as one of their two drivers (the other being Ho-Pin Tung), finishing eighth in the inaugural ePrix. Piquet began to climb up the field in the next four ePrix, taking podiums in Punta del Este and Buenos Aires, followed by fifth place, and fastest lap, in Miami.
The Title Tilt
Piquet's breakthrough came at the 2015 Long Beach ePrix. Using a replica of his father's first Grand Prix winning helmet (which Piquet Sr. won in Long Beach almost exactly 35 years before the ePrix), Piquet claimed victory from third on the grid, racing almost unchallenged throughout. The result sent him to second in the championship, a single point behind leader Lucas di Grassi. His success carried through for the rest of the season, as his energy saving style meant he could challenge in the second half of each race.
A podium in Monaco and fourth place in Berlin showed Piquet's style to its maximum potential, before a mirror image of his Long Beach win was witnessed in the 2015 Moscow ePrix. All this meant that Piquet was calling the tune into the season ending double header in London, although his weekend did not start ideally, with Sébastien Buemi taking pole and victory in the First London ePrix. The title would therefore come to the final race of the season, with Buemi just five points behind the Brazilian.
Piquet's luck looked to have run out in the British capital, as a wet qualifying session (for half of the field) saw him take sixteenth on the grid, while Buemi was up in fifth. Yet, a good start, combined with team mate Oliver Turvey pushing the cars around him, saw Piquet steadily climb through the field while also saving energy. An appearance by the BMW Qualcomm i8 safety car was needed to bring Piquet fully into contention for points, with the Brazilian then pulling a series of sensational moves to drag himself into eighth, enough to win the title as Buemi sat in sixth. Buemi almost stole the title in the penultimate corner, but his efforts proved in vain, with Piquet having to thank Bruno Senna for his title victory in the season finale.
As defending Champion, Piquet entered the 2015/16 season among the favourites for the title. Yet, having stuck with the newly re-named NEXTEV TCR team for the first year of manufacturer involvement, the Brazilian's hopes quickly evaporated. A troublesome pre-season saw Piquet and new teammate Oliver Turvey only get a handful of laps in at the 2015 Donington Test, before the Brazilian was outpaced by his new teammate at the season opening 2015 Beijing ePrix.
After claiming points at the 2015 Putrajaya ePrix, largely through his skill at saving energy, Piquet endured a torrid run of non-scores and retirements. His pace did improve after the 2015 Punta del Este Test, although it would take until the season ending double header in London for Piquet to add to his meagre tally. A fastest lap during the 2016 London ePrix I was followed by a ninth place finish in the final race of the season, leaving Piquet behind teammate Turvey in the standings.
Rejuvenation and Recuperation
Piquet and Turvey were retain by NEXTEV (once again undergoing a name change to NextEV NIO) for season three, with Piquet changing his race number to #3. After completing four of the six days of running at the 2016 Donington Test, Piquet would be content that the new car would at least be reliable for the upcoming season, although both himself and Turvey were in the bottom half of the table in terms of outright pace.
Despite a lack of outright pace during the pre-season tests, Piquet stunned the field by claiming pole at the season opening Hong Kong ePrix. However, the NextEV NIO lacked the pace to compete over a race distance, and so Piquet slipped out of the points during the race, even falling behind teammate Turvey. A rather anonymous performance in Marrakech followed, before Piquet finally registered a top five finish in Buenos Aires, his first since season one.
That performance in Buenos Aires began a run of four point scoring races for Piquet Jr., with the Brazilian claiming fourth in Monte Carlo, his best finish of the season. A ninth place finish in Mexico City, and a seventh in Paris came either side of his Monte Carlo exploits, although that would be as good as it got. Indeed, Piquet would fail to score at all between Paris and the end of the season, leaving him to slip out of the top ten in the Championship.
The Piquet Panther
After a second poor season with NextEV, Piquet opted to join Jaguar Racing for 2017/18, taking up an offer originally made ahead of the previous season. He joined Mitch Evans in the team ahead of the 2017 Valencia Test, with the pair fairly evenly matched across the three days. The Brazilian would go on to enjoy a strong start to the season in Hong Kong, fighting for the podium throughout before finishing fourth.
A non-score for Piquet would follow in the second Hong Kong E-Prix, before the Brazilian battled to fourth in Marrakech, also setting fastest lap as he kept Jean-Éric Vergne at bay in the closing stages. The Brazilian then fought with teammate Evans for sixth in Santiago, with Piquet coming out on top. Another fourth place finish, this time with Piquet just falling shy of the podium on the final lap, followed in Mexico City, ahead of a poor run of reliability and luck.
Indeed, over the next six E-Prix Piquet would record just one race finish as a variety of issues ended his races, including two driveshaft failures in Punta del Este and Paris. Two retirements were also caused when the Brazilian's belts were not secured properly after the car-swap, happening twice in Rome and Zürich, before Piquet switched his car off completely during the 2018 New York City E-Prix I after his car swap. The Brazilian would, however, end the season in points, a race long fight with teammate Evans and the two Mahindras seeing the Brazilian finish the campaign in ninth overall.
Piquet, and Evans, would be retained by Jaguar for the 2018/19 season, with the pair completing another gruelling test programme for the new Jaguar I-Type III. However, while the new car proved to be competitive, Piquet was only able to claim a single point at the opening round in Ad Diriyah, finishing tenth. The following round in Marrakech was similarly disappointing, Piquet failing to threaten the points at all, before he fought to eleventh in Santiago.
Yet, Piquet was to fall out of love with FE, beginning with a spectacular accident at the 2019 Mexico City E-Prix, which saw the Brazilian get catapulted over the top of Jean-Éric Vergne, destroying his car. Piquet escaped without injury but was unable to take the restart, and would require a new car for the following Hong Kong E-Prix. However, Piquet would fair little better in Hong Kong, retiring with damage on the opening lap, before a third retirement in a row in Sanya, this time due to a technical issue.
That retirement ultimately caused Piquet to quit FE with immediate effect, leaving the Jaguar team to race in his native Brazil. His spot in Jaguar would be taken by Alex Lynn for the rest of the season, while Piquet himself was classified in 22nd with a single point.
Full Formula E Record
Shown below are a series of tables outlining Nelson Piquet Jr.'s career in Formula E in statistical form.
Formula E Entries
The list below includes all of the teams and cars, as well as overall finishing positions for Nelson Piquet Jr. during their FE career:
|Nelson Piquet Jr.'s Overall Formula E Record|
|2014/15||China Racing||99||Spark-Renault SRT_01E||1st||144|
|2015/16||NEXTEV TCR||1||NextEV TCR FormulaE 001||15th||8|
|2016/17||NextEV NIO||3||NextEV FormulaE 002||11th||33|
|2017/18||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||3||Jaguar I-Type II||9th||51|
|2018/19||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||3||Jaguar I-Type III||22nd||1|
Below is a table showing Nelson Piquet Jr.'s full Formula E record.
|FIA Formula E Championship Record|
Videos and Images:
- Liviacastrioto, 'Piquet Jr NASCAR', wikipedia.org, (WikiMedia, 08/06/2011), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Piquet,_Jr.#mediaviewer/File:Piquet_Jr_NASCAR.JPG, (Accessed 07/07/2015)
- 'Driver's Club: Nelson Piquet', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/drivers-club/nelson-piquet.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- 'Bird hails ‘unbelievable’ end to season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/bird-hails-unbelievable-end-to-season.aspx, (Accessed 30/06/2015)
- 'Nelson Piquet Jr joins Jaguar for season four', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/09/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/september/nelson-piquet-jr-joins-jaguar-for-season-four/, (Accessed 21/09/2017)
- 'Champion Vergne victorious as Audi scoops the teams' title in New York finale', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/champion-vergne-victorious-as-audi-scoops-the-teams-title-in-new-york-finale/, (Accessed 16/07/2018)
- Sam Smith, 'Unchanged Lineup for Jaguar in Season Five', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 20/06/2018), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/unchanged-lineup-for-jaguar-in-season-five/, (Accessed 20/06/2018)
- Alex Kalinauckas, 'Piquet splits with Jaguar Formula E team', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 28/03/2019), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/piquet-jaguar-split/4359901/, (Accessed 28/03/2019)
- 'Nelson Piquet Jr and Ho-Pin Tung sign for China Racing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/08/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/august/nelson-piquet-jr-and-ho-pin-tung-sign-for-china-racing.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- 'Emotional Piquet emulates his father', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 04/04/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/april/piquet-cruises-to-victory-in-long-beach.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- 'Piquet masters Moscow', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 30/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/piquet-increases-lead-in-championship-with-moscow-win.aspx, (Accessed 09/06/2015)
- 'Buemi’s stroll in the park', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 27/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/buemi-wins-as-edams-renault-clinch-team-title.aspx, (Accessed 30/06/2015)
- 'Sarrazin takes pole in mixed conditions', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/sarrazin-takes-pole-in-mixed-conditions.aspx, (Accessed 30/06/2015)
- 'Nelson Piquet Jr signs multi-year Formula E deal', motorsport.com, (Motorsport.com 16/05/2015), http://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/nelson-piquet-jr-signs-multi-year-formula-e-deal/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter, (Accessed 16/05/2015)
- 'Buemi to the max in Beijing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/10/2015),http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/october/buemi-wins-swusp-beijing-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 25/10/2015)
- 'Di Grassi keeps his cool to win in Putrajaya', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/11/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/november/di-grassi-keeps-his-cool-to-win-in-putrajaya.aspx, (Accessed 22/11/2015)
- 'BUEMI WINS TITLE AFTER SPECTACULAR FINALE: VISA FASTEST LAP ENDS UP DECIDING THE 2015/16 FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/buemi-wins-title-after-spectacular-finale/, (Accessed 04/07/2016)
- 'NextEV RETAIN NELSON PIQUET JR AND OLIVER TURVEY: NEXTEV REVEAL DRIVER LINE-UP AND NEW LIVERY FOR 2016/17 SEASON', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/08/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/august/nextev-retain-nelson-piquet-jr-and-oliver-turvey/, (Accessed 23/08/2016)
- 'Buemi holds on in Hong Kong', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 09/10/2016), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/october/buemi-holds-on-in-hong-kong/, (Accessed 09/10/2016)
- 'Buemi becomes hat-trick hero in Buenos Aires', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/02/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/february/buemi-becomes-hat-trick-hero-in-buenos-aires/, (Accessed 19/02/2017)
- 'Di Grassi fights Buemi to the finish in Monaco', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/05/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/may/di-grassi-fights-buemi-to-the-finish-in-monaco/, (Accessed 14/05/2017)
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- 'Bird clinches victory in Hong Kong', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/bird-clinches-victory-in-hong-kong/, (Accessed 16/12/2017)
- 'Rosenqvist victorious in 2018 ABB FIA Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/01/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/january/rosenqvist-victorious-in-2018-abb-fia-formula-e-marrakesh-e-prix/, (Accessed 13/01/2018)
- 'Vergne steals the show in epic Santiago E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/02/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/february/vergne-steals-the-show-in-epic-santiago-e-prix/, (Accessed 03/02/2018)
- 'Abt finally clinches first victory in Mexico City', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/03/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/march/abt-finally-clinches-first-victory-in-mexico-city/, (Accessed 04/03/2018)
- 'Fairytale ending for home race hero Vergne in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/04/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/april/fairytale-ending-for-home-race-hero-vergne-in-paris/, (Accessed 29/04/2018)
- 'Di Grassi victorious as Vergne clinches championship crown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/di-grassi-victorious-as-vergne-clinches-championship-crown/, (Accessed 15/07/2018)
- 'Race Report: Da Costa - 'We did it baby, we're back!', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/12/2018), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/december/race-report-saudi, (Accessed 15/12/2018)
- 'Bird storms to victory in sweltering Santiago showdown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 26/01/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/january/race-report-santiago-2019, (Accessed 27/01/2019)
- 'Madness in Mexico sees di Grassi clinch miraculous win in epic photo finish', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 16/02/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/february/race-report-mexico-2019, (Accessed 17/02/2019)
- 'Bird victorious in furious battle for first on Hong Kong Harbourfront', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/03/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/march/race-report-hong-kong-2019, (Accessed 11/03/2019)
- 'Vergne victorious in Sanya showdown, championship blown wide open', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/03/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/march/race-report-sanya-2019, (Accessed 23/03/2019)