Former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr has been confirmed as Team China's first driver for the upcoming FIA Formula E Championship, marking his return to single-seater competition after a five years absence.
The Brazilian, son of three-time F1 champion Nelson Piquet, was present during the final Formula E pre-season test with China Racing at Donington Park this week and has subsequently put pen-to-paper with the team with just three weeks to go until the season opener in Beijing.
The move signals his first single-seater deal since 2009 when he left F1 under the cloud of Renault's 'race fixing' scandal, Piquet going on to compete in NASCAR before making a move to the American-based Global RallyCross Championship, a series he currently leads.
“I have always enjoyed the challenge of racing in a variety of formulas, so I'm delighted to be able to drive in Formula E,” he said. “To be a driver in the very first Formula E championship is a great honour as it's a very interesting new concept in motorsport. I'm delighted to be participating with Team China Racing who are looking to establish themselves in the sport.”
Piquet's inclusion further bolsters a field teeming with F1 experience, including Jarno Trulli, Nick Heidfeld, Jarno Trulli, Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi.
The opening round takes place in Beijing, China on September 13th.