• Oct 5, 2009
Crashing in Formula One is taken pretty seriously. Especially if you did it on purpose. Which goes a long way towards explaining why the motorsport community is calling for the blood of Nelson Piquet Jr. The disgraced Renault driver was, in the end, the perpetrator of the so-called Crashgate affair. But while his boss and manager Flavio Briatore was kicked out of Formula One (and any involvement in any FIA-sanctioned racing series) as a result, and technical director Pat Symonds received a five-year ban. For his part, Piquet walked as part of the whistle-blower deal brokered with the FIA. So it may be a little hard to appreciate the young driver's standpoint that he's suffered the most out of the affair.

On this side of the Atlantic, however, stock cars crash all the time. It's just part of the spectacle. So while Piquet, Jr. may have a hard time finding a race seat in Formula One or any other Euro-centric racing series, he may – like Juan Pablo Montoya, Jacques Villeneuve and Scott Speed, to name just a few – try his hand at stock car racing. Well, stock truck racing, more specifically.

According to new reports, Piquet is scheduled to test a Toyota Tundra race truck fielded by the Red Horse team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series over the next couple of weeks. The report, originating from Brazil's Globo television, further suggests that Piquet has a strategy in place to spend one year in trucks and another year in the second-tier Nationwide Series before graduating to the top-tier Sprint Cup in 2012. The question is, how will American racing drivers – and just as importantly, American racing fans – greet the embattled grand prix driver?

[Sources: AutoWeek and Autosport | Image: Robert Cianflone/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      From F1 to NASCAR...Trucks...That's the ultimate punishment for any driver, akin to Dante's fifth layer of Hell...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I want to like nascar, I really do, but the oval tracks and hundreds of laps makes it hard.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I must be naive, but I'd have notified the FIA as well. I do what I'm told ( wreck ) and still get cut by Renault over the summer. WTF?

      People have suggested all season that the Renault car is not up to par. Grosjean hasn't done any better. Why all the hailstorm of grief for Piquet jr. for expecting Renault to keep him, provided he kept his mouth shut?

      It reminds me of a mafia-esque scene. "You do this for me? I make that thing go away."
      Well, he still got some new cement shoes. Why not fight back?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why can't my password be saved?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh, I dunno, F1 doesn't seem to look down upon crashing on purpose that badly. If one were a multi-time F1 driving champion they could probably get away with it and keep their career, job and ride and even be asked back to fill in if a driver got hurt!

      Let's face it, Piquet's biggest crime is a Villeneuvian failure to deliver. That kind of thing will get you a trip out of F1 10 times out of 10.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jacques Villeneuve was F1 drivers champion, but then after that he failed to deliver, never standing atop the podium again. Years later he was let go. It comes down to "what have you done for me lately".

        You want to say he was done wrong, that he never got a good ride after that? Maybe so, but he's not alone in that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        PickYourEtiquette crashed 17 times in two years, and struggled heavily with new car where driver's feel plays a larger role, kind of how it does in NASCAR. Guy is an idiot plain and simple, first he agreed to crash, second he didn't come out until he was fired. What does that say about his character and character of his father. Those idiots backstabbed Renault company and F1 team, FIA, F1, Briatore, Symonds and Bonehead Sr. tried to destroy Alonso as well!

        Even then we still don't know the whole story, there still seems to be disagreement over who came up with idea of crashing. He's young, too weak for F1 and stupid. Only reason why he did well in GP2 was because cars were set-up by computers and were easier to drive.

        As for Villeneuve, he worked his butt off at BAR and season following his firing produced fantastic results. It would be naive to think he didn't contribute a considerable amount to success Button and Sato enjoyed. BMW Sauber is ran by Theissen same guy who failed to do anything worthwhile with Williams or Sauber. Firing JV three weeks after his marriage revealed his true character.
        • 5 Years Ago
        er...'Villeneuvian'(?) Jacque Villeneuve won Indy 500 and Indycar Championship in '95, and F1 WDC in '97. Hmmm
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well he is going into a series that is one of hell of a lot more exciting than F1. You know a series is in trouble when you hear more about the scandals and back-biting than the actually racing.

      It will be interesting to see if he can hack it. And after the fracas in F1 he has a lot to prove.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I understand that Hyudaifans,
      It just seems to me no racing org should let this guy in.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why do I think of Wilmer Valderrama?
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you take a look at AB's comment section when - for example - the article has to do about dealership servicemen or valets taking joyride in customer cars, there seems to be a fair amount of comments expressing the length that people would - allegedly - go to in order to get revenge.

      With that in mind, I'm surprised Nelsinho is getting so much crap. Let's not forget that Briatore publicly spoke out against him before letting him go. After Nelsinho went out on a limb for him. How would most of you respond to this?

      Yes, what he did was wrong. But no more wrong than the team members who knew about this were also in the wrong. No more wrong than Hamilton and his teammates when they lied to the stewards. No more wrong than the Brawn crew when they set up their pit strategy to favor Button over Barrichelo.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mostly agreed w/ Zanardi.

        He did what he was told. Once he was let go, Briatore spoke out against him. What else was he to do? Briatore was rubbing salt in an already festering wound.

        F Flavio. He got what he deserved. Nelson did what he was told. He could have been the honest guy and not wreck, but wanted to continue in F1.

        As for Nascar, it proves how much he wants to compete. Dropping to Nascar from F1 has to be the ultimate slap in the face. Nelson went even one step lower, and jumped into a Nastruck.

        Hurts.I'm afraid as long as Flavio is alive and can comment on Nelson, that Nelson is basically banned from F1 as well.

        That's the BS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, this is pathetic. The reason Piquet Jr. is worse off than anyone involved in the drama is because he has exposed himself as an untrustworthy snitch not crashing. Who in Formula 1 would go out of their way to acquire his services which are mediocre at best anyway?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good riddance b/c he's certainly no F1 driver.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It pisses me off on so many levels that the FIA granted this sack of crap immunity in the whole crashgate fiasco. I'd be really surprised if he made it back into F1... but then again, I can see one of the smaller teams scooping him up if him & daddy turn up with enough money. Then he can go back to the business of crashing (17 crashes in 2 years of F1!)... it says a lot when you're a race car driver and you have to deliberately crash your car to keep your job. Flavio & Pat obviously felt he was better suited to crashing the car rather than driving like everybody else.
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