Famously, the Brazilian found himself at the centre of the biggest race-fixing scandal to ever hit the sport after crashing deliberately in the 2008 Singapore grand prix.
He rebuilt his tattered career in Nascar, rallycross and also Formula E, where he is the reigning champion, but acknowledges that F1 is unfinished business that he will probably never complete.
“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it happens,” Piquet, now 30, told the Argentine sports daily Ole.
“I am very realistic about my time in formula one, as every driver would like to be on a team that allows you to win races. But I had a podium in my first year and did many things that others would not do in five or six years.
“Today my career is Formula E and I don’t think much about returning to F1.
“There are at least six drivers who have the money and the sponsors to take the places from the others.
“I’m happy with my career,” added the son of the triple world champion with the same name, “and I have had several challenges — not everything is about F1.”