PIOUET DENIED F3 RACE RETURN
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