Disgraced former Renault
F1 pilot Nelson Piquet Jr
appears to have earned a reprieve following claims that he will form half of an all-Brazilian line-up at Formula One
newcomer Campos Meta.
According to Spanish website motor21.com
, the 24-year old has inked a three-year deal with the former GP2
Series team that will see him partner former sparring partner Bruno Senna in the top flight - but only after his father, three-time F1 world champion Nelson Sr, took a 15 per cent stake in Adrian Campos nascent operation. That deal, plus the support of several Brazilian companies keen to capitalise on the team's line-up, proved to be the key in seeing off rival bids from former Campos GP2
regular Vitaly Petrov and erratic Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado.
Few expected Piquet Jr to return to F1 quite so soon after his role in the now infamous Singapore GP accident that not only afforded then Renault
team-mate Fernando Alonso
victory in the sport's first night race, but ultimately led to the exit of both Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds, who each received lengthy bans from F1. Piquet, meanwhile, provided the evidence that turned the case, earning himself a pardon from the FIA, but a question mark from any team previously willing to have considered employing him.
His-year-and-a-half at Enstone, however, is also understood to have given him a leg-up at Campos, allowing him to bring some F1 experience as well as family money, and putting him ahead of the likes of the vastly more seasoned Pedro de la Rosa, who had been seen as a shoo-in for the second seat based on his nationality. de la Rosa is not expected to settle for another year of reserve duties - having filled the role at McLaren
since 2003 - but Campos is likely to find a Spanish talent to help assuage national support.