Saturday, 23 August 2014

'I'm here to score as many points I can' - Piquet Jr. out to extend lead in Daytona

Going into round six of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross series at Daytona, former F1 and NASCAR racer Nelson Piquet Jr. sits atop of the points standings.

However, despite leading the championship, the Brazilian is still in search of his first win of the season.

Prior to the sixth round of the season in Florida I caught up with the SH Rallycross driver to hear his thoughts on his championship position, the Daytona event, as well as his activities away from Red Bul GRC.

Nelson Piquet Jr. Interview

Dominik Wilde: Coming into this event you're leading the championship but you've not yet won a race, does that add more pressure or does that put you in a more comfortable position?

Nelson Piquet Jr.: Of course it doesn't add pressure I'm leading the championship that's all anybody wants. I'd prefer to win the championship than to winning three races and losing the championship.

Dominik Wilde: Do you think you've got a good chance of winning this weekend?

Nelson Piquet Jr.: Again a lot of guys who are not fighting for the championship, they're going to be risking much more than I will so I'm here to score as many points I can, well I need to score as many points as I can, I cannot risk throwing a race away because of one position. If I have to settle for second place and be safe it's going to have to be the case, I wanna keep leading the championship.

Dominik Wilde: So are you saying you're playing it safe this weekend then or are you still going to go for it?

Nelson Piquet Jr.: Well obviously when you're always leading the championship, especially when it's a big margin, you always want to be more on the safe side than the risky side. We're going to try as hard as we can to obviously win the race, but I'm not going to put myself in a dangerous position for sure.

Dominik Wilde: You're a guy who's tried many different disciplines, earlier this week you were driving the Formula E car and you've just signed to race there, now you're at a venue you've raced at, you're one of only 3 drivers (in the series) to race here, is it strange coming to what is effectively the home of stock car racing but racing rallycross?

Nelson Piquet Jr.: Not for me because I've been here three times maybe with NASCAR, it's not like the full hardcore NASCAR guys that have been here 50 times always on the big track so I've been here a few times, the truck races, Nationwide races, Daytona 24 hours so it hasn't become like a normal consistent thing yet for me.

Dominik Wilde: Of course it's really hot this weekend, do you think that will play a part at all for yourself or for anyone?

Nelson Piquet Jr.: If the races were a bit longer, yeah. The races aren't long enough to really slow anybody down. It can slow the cars down because it's going to heat up the cars very quickly but I don't think in terms of the physical side it's going to be an issue

Dominik Wilde: And going back to the Formula E, what are your impressions of that?

Nelson Piquet Jr.: Yeah it's very interesting, it's a different sort of demographic, not even age, I'm talking about different group of people really. It involves a lot of technology. It involves more lets say science into it, a lot of people that have never been close to race cars are now involved just because the car is really nothing to do with engines it's all about batteries and power and electricity so I think it's going to attract a different crowd.

The car itself to drive is like any other race car, it's pretty slow because it's battery obviously but it's a different interesting series and I wanted to take part in the beginning tosee if it's good or not, if I like it I'll stay.

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