Nelson Piquet

Nelson Piquet is a Formula 1 driver who raced in the late 70’s and early 90’s. In his incredible career he won three Formula 1 world championships and 23 races. But in Formula 1 he is not only recognized for his talent but also for his unforgettable pre-race interviews and I ‘m going to talk about that later. Nelson Piquet was born in 1952. The first sport that the Brazilian played was tennis since his father was a tennis champion. Just the father ddid not want Nelson to race with cars. But the Brazilian did not listen to him and decided to pursue his great passion. He started go karting at the age of 14. He ran different categories and his Formula 1 debut took place in 1978, at the German Grand Prix, with Ensign-Ford. But everyone noticed him in the Monza Grand Prix. In fact Nelson raced with a third Brabham at the Monza Grand Prix. In the following season, the Brazilian ran with Alfa-Brabham, same stable as the year before. The results of the championship were however at a good level. In 1980 Piquet always rode with Brabham. That year he fought for the championship together with Alan Jones. The world championship was won by Jones despite Piquet’s victories and excellent results. That same year there was the Brazilian’s first victory in the American Grand Prix. In 1981 Nelson wanted the title and won it. There were three contenders for the championship: Piquet, Carlos Reutemann and Alan Jones himself. The first two victories were in Argentina where Nelson won and Imola. At the end of the year he won the championship. 1982 was not the best. But it was characterized by a fantastic victory in Brazil where Nelson exhausted from the fights with Rosberg passed out on the podium. Another victory arrived in Canada. In Germany Salazar touched Piquet’s Brabham and the two went out of the race and the Brazilian punched Salazar. Still in the German GP Piquet, following Pironi’s accident in Ferrari, considered Ferrari a dangerous car. This caused some problems between Piquet and Enzo Ferrari. In 1983, thanks to the very fast car and the strategy for petrol, Nelson won the championship after a fight with the French Prost. He won three Grand Prix: the first in Brazil, Italy and Brands Hatch. Even Nelson thought he was stunned by the car. The Brazilian driver’s 1984 was characterized by many pole positions and two victories: Canada and Detroit. 1985 is similar to the previous season. The Brazilian driver, however, did not win even a pole and a single victory in France. After two years without a fight for the title, Piquet is ready for the 1986 season. In fact, he won the first race. He fought for the world championship together with his teammate Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost. Nelson won 4 races in 1986: Brazil, Germany, Italy and Hungary after a splendid race. In fact, in the middle of the race the first was Senna followed by Piquet. Nelson invented an incredible overtaking, completely sideways at the first corner. This is remembered as one of the best overtaking in F1. Despite the many victories Piquet lost the world championship in the last race. After Williams’ first season in the second (1987) Nelson wanted to win. In fact, Williams was the fastest car that year. The contenders for the title were Piquet and Mansell. At the beginning of the season, however, Piquet had a bad accident in Imola that forced him to rest. But Nelson soon returned to the track and won three Grand Prix: Italy, Germany and Hungary. Mansell won 6 but had a bad accident at the end of the season. Piquet recovered the points and won his third world title. In 1988 and 1989 Nelson moved to Lotus but the car was not good and in two years he did not win a single race. Only one podium in Belgium in 1988. In 1990 and 1991, nearly forty years old Nelson moved to Benetton. The results were excellent. Nelson won two races in 1990: in Japan and Australia. And in 1991 he won his last career victory in F1.

After 1991 he retired from F1. And in 1992 he ran in Indianapolis. But an accident in Indianapolis caused him severe fractures in his legs. Nelson ran only a few contests after that year and his automotive career ended beyond the age of 50. Nowadays he lives in Brazil, with many children including Nelson Piquet Jr, a former F1 driver. Pedro Piquet, former F2 driver and Kelly Piquet, Max Verstappen’ girlfriend, reigning F1 world champion. Surely Nelson is a legend of the sport. 23 wins, 24 pole positions and 3 F1 world championships are not won by chance.

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Autore:

Giuseppe Panebianco

Classe:

II A – Furci Siculo
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