"I don’t know the reason for it, as I’ve won championships, I’ve won in NASCAR, led Rallycross in my first season. People with small minds still talk about it, of course, but if I’m succeeding now it’s because the cars are equal, the tracks are new for everybody, the conditions the same for everybody.
"When you put me in a situation like that, I have no doubts. In F1, it was obviously a little different because I was with (Fernando) Alonso and I don’t have words to describe how good he is. And I was under pressure."
Now, he says it is money that is preventing drivers like him from leapfrogging from the top of one series into the pinnacle of motor sport.
"If I had a check for $5 to 10 million in my pocket, the door would be wide open," said Piquet. "Nowadays, it doesn’t matter who you are, to get into F1, you have to come with that check."