Nelsinho Piquet has revealed that he is keen to rebuild his career so that he can one day return to F1 with 'a team that believes' in him, even though observers have warned that the Brazilian is now damaged goods and 'unemployable' in the wake of the 'Singapore-gate' race-fixing scandal.
Having been sacked mid-season by Renault, Piquet went on to blow the whistle on his former employers by informing governing body the FIA that he had been instructed to deliberately crash out of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix by the Enstone-based outfit's then managing director Flavio Briatore and executive director of engineering Pat Symonds – both of whom have since left in disgrace – in order to prompt a safety car period that enabled team-mate Fernando Alonso to triumph from a disadvantaged grid position following an engine failure in qualifying.
Though the 24-year-old was granted immunity from prosecution in front of the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) for disclosing everything he knew – whilst Symonds and Briatore, by stark contrast, were banned from any involvement in FIA-sanctioned motorsport for respectively a five-year period and indefinitely – BBC F1
commentator Martin Brundle has cast doubt over whether any team in the top flight would ever be willing to risk employing him again, mindful of the consequences should things not work out.
However, it is being strongly rumoured in Spain that Piquet is on the shortlist for a drive at 2010 newcomer Campos Grand Prix, with the understanding that his father – triple F1 World Champion Nelson Piquet – is willing to help bankroll his son's comeback. The 57-year-old has amassed a considerable fortune both from his hugely successful racing career and business investments in his homeland – and it is being speculated that he could be prepared to invest some of that wealth into Campos to provide 'Nelsinho' with the means for a rapid return.
It was revealed earlier this week that Piquet has arranged a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series test with Red Horse Racing across the Pond in a bid to resurrect a career that he acknowledges has been set right back to square one [see separate story – click here
], and he is believed to have made other enquiries Stateside about what possibilities there are – but his ultimate goal, the former GP2 Series runner-up is adamant, remains a return to F1 to set the record straight.
“I want to clear up this business rapidly so it doesn't stay with me for the rest of my life,” he said in an interview with Brazil's Globo TV
. “I need a decent team, a decent engineer – a team that believes in me. I don't know which one it will be, but I do know I will go back to racing.”
Piquet's argument for having complied with Briatore and Symonds' request was that he was under huge psychological pressure from the former to the extent that he felt his seat was under very real threat should he have refused. The Italian – who continues to refute the accusations against him, of which the WMSC deemed him guilty in absentia
– is reported to be currently on holiday as he awaits the verdict of the Football League as to whether his role in the conspiracy will also cost him his co-ownership of London Championship club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) [see separate story – click here