Nelson Piquet Junior has spoken of his relief that the FIA investigation into his Singapore crash has concluded. Piquet’s allegation that he was told to crash has been vindicated, and the offending parties duly banned.
“I am relieved that the FIA investigation has now been concluded,” Piquet said.
“Those now running the Renault F1 Team took the decision, as I did, that it is better that the truth be known and accept the consequences.
“The most positive thing to come from bringing this to the attention of the FIA is that nothing like it will ever happen again.
“I bitterly regret my actions to follow the orders I was given. I wish every day that I had not done it,” said Piquet.
Piquet escaped punishment for his role because of immunity granted to him by the FIA in return for his evidence. He reserved special invective for Flavio Briatore, the then team principal with whom Piquet had a fraught relationship, and who was today banned from participation in FIA-sanctioned motorsport for life.
“Having dreamed of being a Formula One driver and having worked so hard to get there, I found myself at the mercy of Mr Briatore,” he said.
“His true character, which had previously only been known to those he had treated like this in the past, is now known.
“Mr Briatore was my manager as well as the team boss, he had my future in his hands but he cared nothing for it. By the time of the Singapore GP he had isolated me and driven me to the lowest point I had ever reached in my life,” said the son of three-time F1 world champion Nelson Piquet Sr.
Piquet also made a pitch for a future drive in his statement, saying that he had not been able to show his true worth at Renault in those circumstances.
“I can only hope that a team will recognise how badly I was stifled at Renault and give me an opportunity to show what I promised in my career in F3 and GP2,” he said.
Piquet stands one of the best chances of getting a drive with new entrants Campos and Manor Motorsport, because with a testing ban still in place his experience with new-regulation F1 cars has become invaluable.