Nelson Piquet and Alastair Caldwell
Nelson Piquet and Alastair Caldwell.

He drove his car sideways all the time just to be naturally fantastic.

1979 Nelson Piquet

Nelson Piquet developed a reputation for being an outspoken ‘loose cannon’ but Alastair Caldwell recalls his brilliance as a driver.

Nelson Piquet was great fun, Nelson was a fantastic person: happy, a brilliant road driver who loved cars, mad on cars. Anything with an engine he’d drive like a lunatic. He had a Mercedes which he bought himself: a 500SL saloon with a big engine. He drove it sideways all the time just naturally.

He’d go through the little streets of Knightsbridge on opposite lock whooshing down the street. People would jump for cover in doorways, cars pulled off the road because they thought he was out of control. He wasn’t out of control at all: he was just yacking away. Fantastic road driver, so confident and so quick: just brilliant. Excitable about cars and life in general. Good bloke.

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