Though the FIA World Council has decided to grant immunity to Piquet for his participation in the 'Crash-gate' events of the 2008 Singapore GP; he is now shamed in the eyes of his fans, colleagues, and the sport.
A few weeks ago Piquet was told he would no longer be needed on the team by Renault F1. Piquet has struggled to succeed or surprise anyone during his Formula 1 career. His shoulders bear a heavy weight as he tries to live up to his father's name.
The ruling to indefinitely ban Flavio Briatore from any participation or association with the sport and the suspended ban, of two years, in the World Championship of the entire team Renault F1 has hit Formula 1 hard. Renault F1 has been a major participant of the sport but the only sadness I feel is that which stems from my disappointment for Nelson Piquet Jr.
I can see how this travesty occurred. I see Piquet as a player that has been played but not as a key conspirator. I see him as Briatore sees him; acceptable collateral damage. He was a nice guy, he was someone pushed into the background of the sport only to aid, in any effect, Fernando Alonso. As Piquet struggled with less than ideal aerodynamics and support from the team his confidence dwindled. Being cast aside and regularly harassed made Piquet wary of his place in Formula 1. I can understand that Briatore would conjure and conspire, and who better to take the fall than Piquet. This notion upsets me like it upsets me to hear of up-and-coming actresses having to undress for Hollywood studio execs to get a 'leg-up' in the biz. I assume that Piquet expected that yielding to the instruction of a team principle would only gain favorable admiration by helping the team in a 'time of need'.
I can empathize with Piquet. He thought that being a 'team player' would allot him a greater position on the team. Despite his sacrifice he continued to be harassed and threatened, constantly being warned of the thin ice in which he stood. Finally, Piquet was dismissed from the team being told 'he was no longer needed'. What a humiliated spectacle he has become.
He was a moderate driver in an extremely competitive sport; he was nothing spectacular. Despite my empathetic position, there exists a code of conduct and Piquet breached these rules. He was forced into a corner; he was bullied but Formula 1 drivers are known for their composure under stressful situations. Maybe this proves Piquet does not belong in the sport after all. Regardless, I don't expect to see him back on the grid.