Triple World Champion Nelson Piquet has been bestowed the honour of waving the chequered flag at this year’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, event organisers have confirmed.
The gesture continues the tradition of having a famous Brazilian native do the honours at the end of the race, with previous guest flag-wavers including Felipe Massa and football star Pele (who missed waving the flag at the actual race-winner).
After making his Grand Prix debut over thirty years ago, Piquet claimed victory at his home event on three occasions (1982, 1983 and 1986, all at Rio de Janeiro’s Jacarepagua circuit), although he was stripped of his first win when his Brabham failed post-race scrutineering.
Piquet raced four times at the Interlagos circuit, twice finishing in the points.
This time around, the 59-year-old will be able to enjoy a more relaxing weekend at the track, but he’ll still get behind the wheel for a few demonstration laps in his championship-winning Brabham Cosworth BT49C.
“The choice of Nelson Piquet to wave the chequered flag and drive his Brabham at Interlagos is to honour the importance of what he did for Brazil and in the history of Formula 1,” an event spokesperson told Brazil’s Globo.
[Images via LAT]