Pictures courtesy FIA FormulaE
As he stood on top of the podium,
Nelson Piquet Jr held his trophy in one hand and his crash helmet – a tribute
to his father’s original design – in the other.
The significance of the moment
was plain for all to see. In 1980, Nelson Piquet scored his first F1 win in the
Long Beach Grand Prix. It was the first big step in a career that would yield
24 Grand Prix wins and three world titles. This was stated in a press release
by FIA Formula E.
For Piquet Jr, after coming so
close in Miami only to lose out in the pitstops, who knows how significant this
could be. He’s now up to second in the championship, and if he can replicate
the form he showed in California again, he’s going to be hard to beat.
Piquet thought he could have
taken pole but for traffic on his best lap. Either way, a perfect start allowed
him to get inside Daniel Abt into the first corner and into a lead which –
pitstops aside – he would hold until the end.
In the closing stages there was
some confusion with his team over the radio regarding whether they wanted him
to coast more or less, but in reality he was never challenged on his way to a
Piquet said: “The start was one
of those times where everything goes right, the car didn’t wheelspin much and
it seemed like both cars in front didn’t have a very good reaction. So I got
almost alongside Daniel [Abt] and broke as late as I could into the first
corner. I was really confident on the brakes here and I found a way to control
them which can be a big issue with these cars. As soon as I got the lead it was
just a matter of managing from the front and keeping calm without making
mistakes. The last race in Miami we lost a great result from a mistake in the
pitstop so I think it was crucial to hold on to the lead here. I just made sure
I managed the gap to Jean-Eric [Vergne] behind me and just brought it home.
This one meant a lot to me!”
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