Nelson Piquet Jr. returns to roots, will run Pau F3 with Carlin

Getty Images

Nelson Piquet Jr. has made waves for his diversity in recent years – the 2014-2015 FIA Formula E champion has also made waves in Red Bull Global Rallycross, NASCAR, Indy Lights and now in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Rebellion Racing in the intervening time period since his year and a half in Formula 1.

Now though, at least for one weekend, he’s returning to his roots – Formula 3 in a one-off with Carlin.

Piquet is going to be in one of Carlin’s four F3 cars at the FIA Formula 3 European Championship round at Pau to provide expert feedback and advice to the team’s three regulars, Ryan Tveter, Alessio Lorandi and Peter Li.  If schedules and his entry is permitted, he’ll also run the legendary Macau Grand Prix with Carlin later this year.

He also deputized for Max Chilton at last year’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races in Toronto with Carlin, while Chilton was at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Nissan.

Piquet won the 2004 British Formula 3 championship with Piquet Sports and was an F3 star before heading to GP2 and then into F1.

“I’m really excited to get back behind the wheel of a Formula 3 car, which holds so many great memories for me,” Piquet said in a release.

“I had a great time working with Carlin in the Indy Lights car in Toronto last year, and I’m happy to help the team again this weekend in Pau.   Any experience gained on street circuits is beneficial for my Formula E campaign and I relish the challenge of adapting to another category this season.”

Team principal Trevor Carlin added, “Nelson is a real racer. He’s unafraid of competition at any level and is reminiscent of the era of drivers like Jim Clark who would take part in races from various categories, just for the love of racing.

“Nelson really impressed the team last season when he jumped into an unfamiliar Indy Lights car and put the car on pole on a track he had never visited before. His championship winning credentials in Formula E perfectly reflect his talent on street circuits. We believe he will be a great asset to the team and our young drivers this weekend and we look forward to working with him in Pau and hopefully again in Macau later this year.”