Nelson Piquet Jr. Leaves Formula-One Dream for NASCAR

Gareth Llewellyn-StevensCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2010

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 21:  Renault Formula One team former driver Nelson Piquet Jr leaves the F.I.A headquarters after attending the World Motor Sport Council hearing on September 21, 2009 in Paris, France. Renault will not contest the charges that Nelson Piquet Jr. was ordered by management to deliberately crash his car during the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix, the crash caused the deployment off the safety car, due to team mate Fernando Alonso's race strategy he was able to win the race. The incident has already seen the resignation of  team principal  Flavio Briatore and Director of Engineering, Pat Symonds. The punishment from the FIA could be exclusion of the team from F1, a large fine or a suspended ban.   (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Nelson Piquet Jr. has finally turned his back on an F1 career after failing to get a drive for 2010 and will now compete in NASCAR.

The Brazilian was dropped by Renault after a string of poor performances in 2009, and subsequently told the world how he was ordered by his team to deliberately crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Despite agreeing immunity from any sporting sanction, Piquet Jr. has unsuccessfully attempted to get back into Formula One despite a number of teams still looking for drivers for 2010.

Among those reported to be interested was new Spanish team Campos Meta who have already signed Bruno Senna, with Bernie Ecclestone suggesting that Piquet Jr. could drive for them.

In December, a Spanish website reported that Piquet Jr. would partner Senna, which subsequently turned out to be a hoax on Spain's equivalent of April Fool's Day.

After testing a Truck Series truck back in October, Piquet Jr. said his future was in NASCAR, but was still hopeful of a return to F1.

He will now drive for an as yet unnamed team.

Piquet said, “After my first 18 months in F1 did not go as planned, I have decided to focus on something different and have chosen to take a route in America.

“NASCAR is hugely challenging, and nobody has ever come in as an outsider before and gone on to win it. It will be the ultimate challenge. I have always been open to new challenges, and I will be putting everything into this.”

Nicely spun by all accounts.

Not reported by many agencies, he also said, "I have found a good group of people that are really willing to help me in my career and I am grateful that they are there for me.

"I think it will be a positive environment and a good life experience. I am sure this year is going to be fantastic and I am very excited at the prospect of my future. I will miss Europe and all the friends I have there, but I will always have my successes there to be proud of."

For his actions, he doesn't deserve to go anywhere near an F1 car again, unless it's at a museum, and while he might be able to forget about what he did at the Singapore Grand Prix, he'll always be known as the man who deliberately crashed an F1 car, because he was told to, then sold his former team out to the FIA.

Nice legacy, Nelson. Enjoy yourself in America.