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Piquet: I had an F1 offer for this season

Wednesday 20-January-2010 05:36

Nelson Piquet Jr. has revealed that he was offered a Formula One drive for the coming season but turned it down in favour of NASCAR because he is "sick and tired" of aggravation stemming from the Renault race-fix scandal.

The 24-year-old Brazilian, who did not reveal which team had approached him, tested in Florida last week with the Red Horse Racing team in NASCAR's Camping World truck series.

"I could have been there if I wanted to. A team offered me to be there," Piquet told the Speed TV website.

"I just thought I was sick and tired of all of the stuff over there.

"I just took a decision of starting a new step in my career and a new challenge in coming to NASCAR."

Piquet blew the whistle on the controversy during the summer when, shortly after being sacked by the Renault team, he informed the FIA that he had conspired with senior managers to cause a deliberate crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The idea was that Piquet's crash would boost the chances of team-mate Fernando Alonso, who went on to win the race.

Renault were handed a suspended permanent ban while former team boss Flavio Briatore was given a lifetime exclusion, a sanction overturned by a Paris court this month subject to appeal by the FIA.

With his F1 career now seemingly behind him, Piquet added that he was keen to press on and make a name for himself in the United States, this time for the right reasons.

"For a lot of people who are outside of America, it's a downgrade," he said of his move.

"But in terms of career, of how big the sport is in a lot of ways, it's even a tougher step than F1.

"The level of competition and the seriousness and the business of both series are very, very high. I was just sick and tired of things over there. I got a very, very good opportunity over here to start my career here and I'm here."

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