PIOUET DE­NIED F3 RACE RE­TURN

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey, LAT By Stephen Lick­o­r­ish

Nelson Pi­quet Jr was un­able to make a For­mula 3 re­turn at Pau last week­end af­ter his ap­pli­ca­tion to race was re­jected by the FIA.

The cur­rent For­mula E cham­pion and for­mer F1 driver planned to make a re­turn with Car­lin at the French track for the lat­est rounds of the Euro­pean series, but the FIA sin­gle-seater com­mis­sion de­clared it was “against the spirit of the cham­pi­onship”.

Un­der cham­pi­onship reg­u­la­tions, the com­mis­sion has to power to block driv­ers from com­pet­ing and a new rule was in­tro­duced this year ban­ning com­peti­tors who have raced in the cat­e­gory for more than three years tak­ing part – high­light­ing the FIA’S move against ex­pe­ri­enced rac­ers con­tin­u­ing in F3.

“We can­not deny that we were pleased that a driver with the tal­ent and the achieve­ments of Nelson Pi­quet Jr has ex­pressed a de­sire to race in a round of the FIA F3 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship at a pres­ti­gious cir­cuit such as Pau,” said com­mis­sion pres­i­dent Ste­fano Domeni­cali.

“How­ever, we must keep in mind the spirit of the cham­pi­onship – as one of the pri­mary steps on the lad­der to F1.”

Team boss Trevor Car­lin said he was unim­pressed by the FIA’S de­ci­sion.

“Hav­ing been di­rectly in­volved in run­ning For­mula 3 teams for 30 years, I am aware of the im­por­tance F3 has in de­vel­op­ing young driv­ers,” he said.

“Nelson’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the series this week­end would have been a great stim­u­lus for the driv­ers around him and shone a pos­i­tive light on the series and driv­ers. In no way was it meant to dis­credit the cham­pi­onship or its ethos.”

How­ever, the 2004 Bri­tish F3 cham­pion could make a rac­ing re­turn in Bri­tain. A Twit­ter ex­change be­tween Pi­quet and Wal­ter Hayes Tro­phy or­gan­iser James Beck­ett may pave the way for the Brazil­ian to con­test the FF1600 event later this year.

Pi­quet last raced an F3 car back in 2004

FIA blocked Pi­quet’s bid

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