Nelson Piquet Jr has chosen the delights of NASCAR over Formula One, he revealed on his website today. The Brazilian had been openly looking for a seat with one of the new teams in F1, and was reportedly close to a deal on a number of occasions. But he today announced he would be racing in either the truck, Nationwide or Sprint Car derivations of the American series.
“I have spent the last few months carefully evaluating my options for this year,” Piquet wrote on his website. “I had to choose a path and it was a difficult decision to make.
“NASCAR is hugely challenging and nobody has ever come in as an outsider before and gone on to win it – it will be the ultimate challenge.
“I will let you know more details on the exact programme soon.”
He added: “This will be an awesome new challenge for me, and a healthy one. I have always been open to new challenges and I will be putting everything I have into this. I have found a good group of people that are really willing to help me in my career and I am grateful that they are there for me.”
Piquet acknowledged that he had not been successful so far in F1, and that he had been tainted by the scandal associated with him. He also referred to the importance of a sheltered environment to his personal development.
“Being successful in Formula 1 was always my goal but I have learnt that happiness is just as important as ambition and after my first 18 months in F1 did not go as planned I have decided to focus on something different and have chosen to take a route in America.
“I think it will be a positive environment and a good life experience. I am sure this year is going to be fantastic and I am very excited at the prospect of my future.I will miss Europe and all the friends I have there but I will always have my successes there to be proud of.
“I am sure I’ll still do some racing in Europe as I have a lot of ambitions in my life, one of which has always been to win the Le Mans 24 Hours.”