Disgraced former Grand Prix racer Nelsinho Piquet has all but assured himself a series of death threats in his Brazilian homeland after launching an extraordinary attack on one of the most revered Formula 1 drivers of all time, the late Ayrton Senna.
Since leaving F1 in disgrace following his role in the ‘Crashgate’ affair at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, the son of Nelson Piquet Sr has sough refuge in the world of NASCAR Racing. This year, he has claimed maiden victories in the series’ Truck and Nationwide championships.
Despite his latest successes, the
press-starved Brazilian first launched a withering attack on his former employer, the ex-works Renault team now known as Lotus, trashing its current driver line-up of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Räikkonen.
“[Grosjean] has been lucky because he came [back] at a time when he had a slightly weaker teammate [Räikkönen] and a very good car,” he said earlier this week.
And in his more recent diatribe, Piquet – an authority on not succeeding at the highest level of motorsport – was asked to nominate a past-era driver who he though would have struggled in today’s technology-oriented Formula 1.
While a pointless and often dangerous exercise to compare drivers of different eras, Piquet Jr had little hesitation in nominating Senna, a driver whose talent behind the wheel brought him three World Championship titles, 41 Grand Prix wins and a record 65 pole positions until his death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
“Someone like Senna would not have won anything in F1 today,” he is quoted as saying by Terra.
“He was very fast but he had no talent in terms of the technical and mechanical.”
Oh really, Nelsinho?