One of the best drivers in F1 history during the eighties of the twentieth century was Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet, who has won three world champion titles, driving the Brephem and Williams. Piquet was a favorite of audiences and one of the persons that marked the era of turbo engines in Formula 1.
He was born on 17th August 1952 in Rio de Janeiro as Nelson Souto Maior. He grew up in the capital of Brazil, Brasilia, because his father was a politician and minister of health in the Brazilian government. In his youth he showed great passion for the racing sport, but that did not find an approval from his father. He spent a year at college in California, where he finished car mechanic course. After returning to Brazil he started to race in the Brazilian Karting Championship. On one Formula 1 race held in Brazil in 1976, which was not driven for winning points for the championship, Pike found his first job in Formula one. He washed the car parts in the Brabham team. At that time nobody could imagine that later he is going to became Formula 1world champion driving for that team.
In the championship he entered the in 1978. That year, Pike has become a champion of British Formula 3, and he was quickly noticed by Bernie Ecclestone who was the owner of Brabham team.
Soon, Nelson Pike has won first championship in 1981. Two years later, he has won his second title also driving for Brabham. That second title from year 1983 was significant for the fact, that Pike became the first driver who has won the title with a turbo engine. Turbo engines have marked the rest of the decade.
In the late eighties Pike moved to the Williams team, with which he has won championship in 1987. At the time, there was a great rivalry between him and his team colleague, the English driver Nigel Mensell. The two of them, and the MekLaren drivers Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, marked the second half of the eighties in F1 history.
He retired from the competition without any major incidents, even if he has started more than 200 races. In 1992 on Indy 500 race at Indianapolis he had an accident in which he seriously injured his legs.