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Nelson Piquet Jr. has described himself as the 'victim' of the 'Crashgate' race-fixing saga which dominated the run-up to this year's Singapore Grand Prix. Having crashed on purpose in last year's race, the Brazilian is now aiming to put his racing career back on track.
Before arriving in Formula One, Nelsinho carried a strong track record, including the 2004 British Formula 3 title and 2006 GP2 runner-up spot to the (then) future F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton. Piquet does believe that the general public will forgive him for his actions in Marina Bay, however, and admits that he has been in discussions with several other teams.
"When I left Renault I talked to some teams," he explained to Brazilian television broadcaster Globo. "After the whole mess, everyone preferred to let the dust settle. The best team is probably STR (Scuderia Toro Rosso), as it is not starting from scratch; they look like they have a calm environment for new drivers - in three or four new teams, you have to pay to drive and that is the last thing I want to do."
The 24-year-old Brazilian also talked of the run-up to 'Crashgate' and whether he has been able to sleep without worries over the issue. "I have, I have," he laughed. "I have to know how to manage and negotiate it inside myself as well. Life goes on."
How did Nelson react to an alleged request to crash a Formula One car on purpose at an 80mph corner? "It was a surprise," he described. "I was a little shaken because of the difficult weekend; the request came from my Manager and team leader (Flavio Briatore) and top engineer (Pat Symonds).
"The situation had become pretty boring in the team because I had not accepted the contract that Flavio wanted me to sign; then he shouted and fought - the thing was pretty ugly and I was pretty worried. I had problems with the car in qualifying and was 'shaken'…between the lines, they wanted to say 'Do it for the team and we will help you.'"
More: Piquet to test in NASCAR Truck Series
Nelson Piquet Jr.
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