Ban 'outrageous' Piquet for life, says Warwick
22 September 2009 – Former driver Derek Warwick believes the severity of Nelson Piquet Jr's behaviour throughout the 'Crashgate' scandal should have landed the Brazilian a lifetime ban from Formula One. Hampshire's Warwick, who last raced in F1 for Footwork in 1993, is the second man to label the 24-year-old 'unemployable'.
With Piquet having been granted immunity by the FIA, the Brazilian received no punishment from Monday's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) hearing whereas former Renault Team Principal Flavio Briatore has received a permanent eviction from the sport for his part in masterminding the pre-race plan of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
"I would never, ever, ever employ Nelson Piquet Jr. again," former F1 and British Touring Car driver Warwick told Crash.net. "What I struggle with is that, for me, what he's done - breaking the confidence of a team on an agreement that he had - is outrageous and I think that's something he has to now live with for the rest of his life. I don't think there's a team out there that will employ him; he's unemployable as far as I'm concerned." Warwick's last comment reflects those of fellow retired driver and now television commentator Martin Brundle.
Although 2006 GP2 runner-up Piquet is now free to repair his broken career, Derek remains more concerned over such matters' affects on the sport but is confident for its safe future. "Would I put a car in the wall for my team-mate?" he questioned. "No, but then Nelson also had that opportunity. People are saying he's a young driver and he could have said no - well he should have said no. I would like the FIA to ban Nelson Piquet for life.
"They always say any publicity is good publicity. I think that, basically, the world knows that Formula One is the premier of motorsport and probably of sport in general - it's one of the most followed sports in the world. Will it do any long-lasting damage? No, I don't think so; we'll wake up on Tuesday morning after the announcement and we'll get on with Singapore. We'll forget about it because we love Formula One."