Piquet Admits He Has to Start from Zero, Doesn't Expect Forgiveness

Although forgiven by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) for his involvement in the Renault affair – as a result of the immunity provided by the ruling body in order to come clean about the matter – Nelson Piquet Jr. admitted earlier today that he doesn't expect the fans or anyone involved in the sport to forgive him for his wrongdoing.

The Brazilian did not make any comments to the press following the WMSC meeting earlier today, but issued a statement in which he admitted his relief that the whole scandal is now over. As a result of it, Renault have been given a 2-year suspended ban, while former team boss Flavio Briatore was banned from all FIA-sanctioned competition for life.

I am relieved that the FIA investigation has now been concluded. Those now running the Renault F1 Team took the decision, as I did, that it is better that the truth be known and accept the consequences. The most positive thing to come from bringing this to the attention of the FIA is that nothing like it will ever happen again,” said Piquet in the statement.

I bitterly regret my actions to follow the orders I was given. I wish every day that I had not done it. I don't know how far my explanation will go to making people understand because for many being a racing driver is an amazing privilege, as it was for me. All I can tell you is that my situation at Renault turned into a nightmare.”

“Having dreamed of being a Formula 1 driver and having worked so hard to get there, I found myself at the mercy of Mr Briatore. His true character, which had previously only been known to those he had treated like this in the past, is now known.”

“Mr Briatore was my manager as well as the team boss, he had my future in his hands but he cared nothing for it. By the time of the Singapore GP he had isolated me and driven me to the lowest point I had ever reached in my life. Now that I am out of that situation I cannot believe that I agreed to the plan, but when it was put to me I felt that I was in no position to refuse.”

“Listening now to Mr Briatore's reaction to my crash and hearing the comments he has made to the press over the last two weeks it is clear to me that I was simply being used by him then to be discarded and left to ridicule.”

“I have had to learn some very difficult lessons over the last 12 months and reconsider what is valuable in life," he said. "What has not changed is my love for Formula 1 and hunger to race again. I realise that I have to start my career from zero.”

“I can only hope that a team will recognise how badly I was stifled at Renault and give me an opportunity to show what I promised in my career in F3 and GP2. What can be assured is that there will be no driver in Formula 1 as determined as me to prove myself.”

“As my final words on this matter, I would like to repeat that I am so sorry to those who work in Formula 1 (including the many good people at Renault) the fans and the governing body. I do not expect this to be forgiven or forgotten but at least now people can draw their conclusions based upon what really happened,
” concluded the Brazilian driver.
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