Jaguar driver Nelson Piquet Jr. does not think the time is right for Brazil to host a round of the Formula E Championship.

The first-ever race in the country was scheduled to take place in Sao Paulo during 2017/18, but plans were shelved at the request of the city authorities, with the Uruguayan coastal circuit at Punta del Este filling the void.

It was intended for the Brazil round to be postponed until the upcoming 2018/19 campaign, though it was not included on the season five calendar approved by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council and published by Formula E back in June.

Piquet, who became the all-electric series’ first champion back in the inaugural 2014/15 season, believes the ongoing political and economic crisis in his home country and current lack of electromobility means Brazil is still some way off joining the calendar.

“I’m sure [Felipe] Massa and [Jean] Todt [FIA president] are trying to put something together to bring the race to Brazil, that’s all in their interest and I’m sure they can get something over there to happen,” Piquet told media including Crash.net at Jaguar’s season five launch event in London.

“But frankly Brazil doesn’t even sell electric cars and is facing a political and economic crisis at the moment - which is not a joke, it’s crazy.

“All of a sudden you have a mayor spending however many millions to bring a race when we don’t even have electromobility in the country yet, I don’t think it’s the right time.

“I don’t care if there are three Brazilians in the series, it needs to be the right time and the right moment for the country to bring a race like this to Brazil.”

The arrival of ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa into the series with Venturi has boosted Brazil’s presence on the Formula E grid to three drivers for 2018/19.

Season three champion Lucas di Grassi revealed he is currently in the process of working on a deal to bring Brazil onto the Formula E calendar “as soon as possible”.

“I can say I’m working hard to have a Brazilian ePrix as soon as possible,” he posted in a message on Twitter.

“It is time to push electric mobility in Brazil and this would generate many thousands [of] jobs and massive increase in [the] quality of life for the general population. Let’s drive electric.”

 

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