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Piquet on Jaguar Move: “I Needed to Start Something New”

New Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Nelson Piquet Jr. admits he “needed to start something new” after two seasons at NIO…

Photo: Jaguar

Nelson Piquet Jr. has revealed that he had multiple options to consider prior to committing to Panasonic Jaguar Racing for Season Four of the FIA Formula E Championship.

The Brazilian confirmed last week that he would make the move from the NIO Formula E team, replacing Adam Carroll in Jaguar’s lineup for the 2017/18 season.

While having been in talks with the British squad prior to its entry into Formula E in 2015, the ex-Formula One driver admitted a lot had been at play into making the decision.

“To be honest after Season One, I could have chosen which team to go to, maybe not Renault, but I could have chosen from most of the others,” Piquet told e-racing365.

“I decided to stay with the team because I had such a rough beginning in Formula E because it was so difficult to get a ride and in fact I nearly didn’t in Season One.

“So I decided to stay [at NIO] because of the opportunity they gave me, even though financially it would have been better to go with another team.”

As revealed by e-racing365, NIO made a last-ditch effort to keep the inaugural Formula E champion, but even a significant financial offer couldn’t keep Piquet from moving on.

It is also now known that he tested for his former team at the beginning of August.

E-racing365 understands that senior personnel at NIO tried to prevent the test, which took place at Calafat in Spain, after knowing that he would likely switch teams.

“They knew that I was looking at somewhere else, but they still really wanted me to stay,” Piquet said.

“But in the end I took the decision that I wanted to go and that was it, there was nothing that was going to make me stay.”

Despite frustration in NIO’s continued lack of competitiveness, especially over the duration of the race, Piquet underlined that he left the team on good terms and without any bitterness.

“I wasn’t angry or anything with them, but over so many races I was increasingly frustrated and there are certain points in your career when you need a restart, a refresh and new challenge,” he said

“I needed to move on, start something new and go into somewhere where you have more belief.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365’s Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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