Three-time Formula 1 World Champion Nelson Piquet says his 17-year-old son Pedro has nothing more to prove in Brazil, and will be racing in the FIA European F3 Championship next season.
Pedro Piquet wrapped up his second Brazilian F3 title at Campo Grande last weekend with two rounds to spare, and his father knows he must now make the step to race in Europe like Nelson himself did in the late 1970s when he moved to Britain.
“Being ready or not, he has to go,” said Nelson. “It's his second year here [in Brazil], and he doesn't have anything more to do. He won the two championships that he contested here, and could win every single race this season if his engine didn't break down two times [in rounds two and three].
“The most important thing right now is what we are trying in the last races: to make him fast from the first lap. He cannot lose time in a weekend, because in Europe he will have problems. If it's raining or not, you have to go there and be fast.”
Pedro Piquet has won 10 races this year, to go with his 11 victories in 2014, and said: “I think that this championship never saw domination by somebody winning in this way like we did this year and last season.
“I'm happy, because I'm getting better here and I'm going prepared do Europe, when we will do European Formula 3.
“We are pushing to be in a competitive team. It is a category that if you do well, you can do well in any championship.”
Piquet has already tested with frontrunning F3 teams Carlin and Van Amersfoort Racing in Europe at the end of last year.
Added pressure of family name
With his father’s illustrious achievements, and half-brother Nelson Jr winning the first-ever FIA Formula E title this year, Pedro says he is used to dealing with the burden of a famous racing surname.
“It was more [of a problem] when I was a child, when I was 7- or 8-years old in go karts,” he said. “You are not mature yet, and it's difficult to deal with this.
“But today, going to Europe, being son of anybody, everyone is equal. Nobody will hit you on purpose.
“In go karts, they did that to me a couple of times. But there [in Europe] if you hit other driver, it causes retirement for both sides. So I'm just focused on having a good career.”
Interviews by Gabriel Lima