LONDON – Nelson Piquet Jr felt shocked to have been crowned the inaugural FIA Formula E champion in London on Sunday after a dramatic turnaround in fortunes across the course of the season.
Piquet clinched the title by a solitary point in the final race of the season, finishing seventh to beat e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi into second place.
Despite not winning a race until the sixth round of the season, Piquet managed to produce a scintillating run of form to get into the thick of the title fight.
However, the battle went down to the final lap of the season, and he felt elated to have emerged as the champion with the NEXTEV TCR team.
“This championship has been really tough, the quality of drivers we’ve been around, everyone respecting each other, racing hard, it’s been fun,” Piquet said.
“It’s amazing. We worked hard and we were struggling at the beginning. I’d have been shocked if we got a podium at the beginning of the year but we turned it around.
“We kept working, investing, and things kept getting better and better. It’s been amazing.
“To think that two weeks before the championship started I didn’t have a contract and then it was a five race deal.”
Piquet entered the London ePrix double header weekend with a 17-point lead at the top of the drivers’ championship, but could only finish fifth on Saturday.
A rain shower during qualifying then left him 16th on the grid for Sunday’s race, but he managed to fight his way up the order to secure the title.
“When it rained this morning I thought ‘things can’t get worse’, but it did take some pressure away and I thought I had nothing to lose, was aggressive and it worked out,” Piquet said.
“One of our main [team orders] was ‘Nelson, don’t ask any questions just drive, we’ll take care of the race’ and I shut my mouth.
“I only knew I won when the commentator came on the radio saying ‘can we interview the champion!”