Nelson’s Column: Racing with Jules and Justin in my heart

Motorsport.com's Nelson Piquet Jr tells us about FIA Formula E and IndyCar testing, plus a Global Rallycross victory – but all is overshadowed by the recent deaths of Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson.

I want to start this column by remembering Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson, two colleagues that our community lost these past two months. I can’t really believe it.

I raced against Justin only a few months ago in the Formula E race at Moscow when he joined Andretti for that weekend and it is difficult to think that he’s gone. 

I want to send my love and thoughts to Jules’ and Justin’s families. They will be feeling the goodwill of the whole motor racing community around the world and from all the fans and I hope that it is a small comfort to know that both Jules and Justin were loved and respected by many and were both widely recognised as really nice guys.

They loved this sport with their whole heart, as all of us drivers do, and they’ll be remembered for their amazing contribution to it. 

We were testing this week at Donington ahead of the new Formula E season when we heard the news about Justin and we were all so shocked. We paid tribute in our own way and had a silence in the pitlane with all the drivers and teams on Tuesday morning before we went out on track in the cars. 

FE and IndyCar testing

Since I last wrote, we’ve had a busy time with the three official Formula E tests at Donington. Things haven’t gone perfectly for us, but we got some good work done and the team are working incredibly hard.

The proof will be seen in Beijing and so we’ll see then where all the teams are at. I’m sure it’s going to be hard work but we showed last year how much improvement can be made so we will be taking the same approach of taking each race as it comes. 

I also got my first taste of driving an IndyCar. I was invited by Penske to drive at the Sonoma test. It was a great experience and it’s a car I’ve wanted to drive for many years. 

Winning in Washington

After Sonoma I went to Washington for the latest round of the Global Rallycross championship.

It was a pretty insane week; I had tested at Donington on Monday and Tuesday in Formula E, at Sonoma on Thursday for IndyCar then took a red-eye and was driving my GRC car by Friday morning in Washington.

However the weekend turned out to be really special as I took my first ever finals win in GRC. 

It was a very special moment. It had been less than two months since I won the Formula E title in London and I was so happy to get on top of the podium in Washington.

I was honoured to win an event against so many strong and experienced rallycross competitors. It came at the end of a long and hard week but a driver’s place is on the track and there’s no better reward than a victory.

I’m sure me and all the other drivers in the world are racing with Jules and Justin in our hearts right now.

They win with us.

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About this article
Series Formula E , IndyCar , Global Rallycross
Drivers Nelson Piquet Jr.
Article type Special feature