- Nelson Piquet
Piquet at the 1991 United States Grand Prix
Born 17 August 1952 Formula One World Championship career Nationality Brazilian Active years 1978 - 1991 Teams Ensign, non-works McLaren, Brabham, Williams, Lotus, Benetton Races 207 (204 starts) Championships 3 (1981, 1983, 1987) Wins 23 Podiums 60 Career points 481.5 (485.5) Pole positions 24 Fastest laps 23 First race 1978 German Grand Prix First win 1980 United States Grand Prix West Last win 1991 Canadian Grand Prix Last race 1991 Australian Grand Prix
Nelson Piquet Souto Maior (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈnɛwsõ piˈke], born August 17, 1952), known as Nelson Piquet, is a Brazilian former racing driver. He was Formula One world champion in 1981, 1983 and 1987. He is one of eight drivers to win three or more world championships, the others being Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna (3 each), Alain Prost (4), Juan Manuel Fangio (5), and Michael Schumacher (7). In 1983, he became the only driver to win the F1 championship in a BMW engined car.
Piquet was born in Rio de Janeiro, then the capital of Brazil, the son of Estácio Gonçalves Souto Maior, a Brazilian politician. His father moved his family to the new capital, Brasília, in 1960 and became Minister for Health in João Goulart's government (1961–64). Piquet started kart racing at the age of 14, but because his father did not approve of his racing career, he used his mother's maiden name Piquet (of French origin and pronounced as "Pee-Kè") misspelt as Piket to hide his identity.
After participating in Brazilian go-karting (1971 and 1972 national champion) and in the local Formula Super Vee 1976 championship, on the advice of Emerson Fittipaldi, the first Brazilian Formula One world champion who sold the chassis for the Brazilian Formula Vee champion car with his brother, he arrived in European motor sports hailed as a prodigy. In the 1978 British Formula 3 season he broke Jackie Stewart's record of the most wins in a season.
Piquet made his Formula One debut for Ensign in Germany, where he made an impressive debut starting 21st only to retire on lap 31 with a broken engine. For the next three races he switched to the McLaren of BS Fabrications were he finished ninth in Italy. For the last race in 1978, Piquet moved to the Brabham team; he qualified in 14th and finished 11th. Piquet stayed with Brabham until 1985.
In 1979 Piquet took his first points in the Dutch Grand Prix finishing fourth. He also took fastest lap in the last race of the season. In 1980 he took his first win at the United States Grand Prix West, and finished second in the drivers' standings, 13 points behind title winner Alan Jones. In 1981 he won the title with three wins, only one point ahead of Carlos Reutemann. The following year, Piquet was fast but his car was unreliable, and he only managed to win in Canada, in BMW's first win in Formula One. The lowpoint of the season was Detroit where he failed to qualify due to an engine failure in qualifying. In Germany, he was leading the Grand Prix until he collided with Eliseo Salazar, after which he physically attacked Salazar at the side of the track. Piquet won his second title in 1983 after a long battle with Alain Prost. It also was the first time a turbocharged car won the championship. In 1984 Piquet again suffered from unreliability, taking pole position nine times but only winning twice. In his last season with Brabham he took one win, in France. It also was the last victory for the Brabham team.
A move in 1986 to Williams saw Piquet becoming the team-mate of one of his fiercest rivals, Nigel Mansell. Both were regarded as highly strung characters with delicate temperaments. Two top drivers in the same team was a recipe for fireworks - and sure enough Mansell and Piquet went head to head for the title. Though the two drove the best cars on the grid, their rivalry caused each to deprive the other of points, allowing Alain Prost to win one of the closest and most fiercely disputed championships ever in F1. Ironically in this season Piquet won one more race (a total of four) than he would in any of his championship-winning campaigns. Piquet made amends in 1987, using political maneuvering and technical skill to gain the upper hand. Despite winning fewer races than Mansell, in 1987 Piquet emerged as world champion. When Piquet followed the dominant Honda engines to a stagnating Lotus team in 1988, his career took a nose dive. He began to lose his reputation when he had no wins in 1988 and even failed to qualify on one occasion in 1989. He resorted to using the media to attack his rivals and gained a reputation as an outspoken "loose cannon", such as attacking Mansell and his wife, calling Mansell "an uneducated blockhead" and stating that fellow Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna "doesn't like women". However, a payment-by-results deal with Benetton saw Piquet return to top form in 1990, with two wins, followed by the final win of his F1 career at Montreal in 1991 - at the expense of longtime rival Mansell.
After Formula One
Known as a practical joker, Piquet lived a stereotypically playboy racing driver lifestyle, earning and losing and earning again a series of small fortunes in his business dealings. One of the great characters of 1980s F1, he tried his hand at the Indianapolis 500 in 1992, but crashed during practice and was badly injured. He returned in 1993 and started in 13th position, but finished in 32nd, after engine problems allowed him to complete only 38 laps. He remains a competitive driver in sports car racing, albeit more for fun than with serious intent.
Since 2000, he has supported the career of his son, Nelson Piquet, Jr., who drove in the F1-feeder category GP2 for 2 seasons, achieving a best championship result of second with four race wins, and was a test driver for Renault F1 in 2007.
On January 20, 2006 Nelson Piquet won the 50th edition of Mil Milhas Brasileiras (Brazilian 1,000 miles), at the Interlagos racing track. He drove an Aston Martin DBR9 alongside his son, Nelsinho, and drivers Christophe Bouchut and Hélio Castroneves. At the end of the race, an exhausted Piquet was quoted saying to a friend he would “never sit in a cockpit again”.
He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2000.
Career in management and business
He founded Autotrac in 1994, a company that provides mobile data messaging and tracking of customers' trucks by satellite (GPS tracking). This business concluded quite successfully as the pioneer because the freight transportation of Brazil depended on trucks.
Piquet founded a racing team, Piquet Sports, in 2000. The purpose was to help the participation of Nelson Piquet, Jr. in Formula Three Sudamericana. It was founded eight months before Nelson Junior turned 16.
Piquet runs some other businesses, based in Brasília.
Piquet Sr.'s helmet is white with red or red designs that resemble a Stylised Tennis Ball (possibly, due to his father wanted him to be a tennis player and his interest for tennis) and red or orange drops on its sides. His son inherited his helmet design.
On July 31, 2007 Piquet, after repeated speeding and parking offenses, was stripped of his civilian driving licence and ordered by the Brazilian courts to attend a week of lessons in order to "learn good and safe driving conduct", and to then pass an exam. His wife Viviane received the same sentence. "I think we have to pay for our mistakes," Piquet told Brazilian media. "It's not just a speeding problem, I got tickets for all kinds of reasons, like parking where I shouldn't."
Complete Formula One results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)
Formula One Non-Championship results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 1979 Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT48 Alfa Romeo Flat-12 ROC
DIN 1980 Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49 Cosworth V8 ESP
1981 Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT49B Cosworth V8 RSA
Indy 500 results
Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Entrant 1992 Lola Buick Practice Crash Menard 1993 Lola Buick 13th 32nd Menard
- ^ a b Up until 1990, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally (see list of points scoring systems for more information). Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
- ^ "Artes Digitais Ltda." (in Portuguese) (PDF). Artes Digitais Ltda.. http://www.familiascearenses.com.br/images/CARDOSO.pdf. Retrieved 2007-12-23. [dead link]
- ^ "Estácio Gonçalves Souto Maior" (in Portuguese). Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporâna do Brasil (FGV/CPDOC). Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927003451/http://www.cpdoc.fgv.br/nav_jgoulart/htm/biografias/Estacio_Goncalves_Souto_Maior.asp. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- ^ "Nelson Piquet". Grand Prix Hall of Fame. http://www.ddavid.com/formula1/piquet_bio.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- ^ "Hall of Fame: Nelson Piquet". Formula One official website. http://www.formula1.com/teams_and_drivers/hall_of_fame/181/. Retrieved 2007-12-24.
- ^ "Presentation". Autotrac. http://www.autotrac.com.br/cgi-bin/PageSvrexe.exe/Get?id_sec=27&idm=2. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- ^ "O príncipe das pistas". Veja on-line. http://veja.abril.com.br/131004/p_082.html. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- ^ Ex-F1 champ takes driving lessons
Sporting positions Preceded by
British Formula Three Championship
BARC Series Champion
Procar BMW M1 Champion
Formula One World Champion
Formula One World Champion
Formula One World Champion
Awards and achievements Preceded by
International Racing Driver Award
Formula One World Drivers' Champions British Formula Three & Formula Junior champions Three-time Two-time One-time
Alguersuari · Arundell · Asmer · Banting · Barrichello · Brabham · Brandon · Burt · Byrne · Conway · Daly · Dean · Dumfries · Fenning · de Ferran · Firman · Fittipaldi · Gavin · Giacomelli · Gugelmin · Haberfeld · Häkkinen · Hynes · Johansson · Kane · Keegan · Kerr · Ledbrook · Lehto · Leston · Magnussen · van der Merwe · Moss · Nasr · Nilsson · von Opel · Pace · Palmer · Parente · Piquet · Piquet, Jr. · Pitcher · Pizzonia · Ricciardo · Sato · Schenken · Senna · Serra · South · Stewart · I. Taylor · Trimmer · Vergne · Wallace · Warwick
Winners of Autosport's International Racing Driver Award1982: Keke Rosberg • 1983: Nelson Piquet • 1984: Niki Lauda • 1985: Alain Prost • 1986–87: Nigel Mansell • 1988: Ayrton Senna • 1989: Jean Alesi • 1990–91: Ayrton Senna • 1992–93: Nigel Mansell • 1994: Damon Hill • 1995: Michael Schumacher • 1996: Damon Hill • 1997: Jacques Villeneuve • 1998–99: Mika Häkkinen • 2000–02: Michael Schumacher • 2003: Juan Pablo Montoya • 2004: Jenson Button • 2005: Kimi Räikkönen • 2006: Fernando Alonso • 2007–08: Lewis Hamilton • 2009: Jenson Button • 2010: Sebastian Vettel
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