As the son of a triple world champion, the Brazilian entered formula one with high hopes: managed by Flavio Briatore and at Renault's title-winning works team.
But he got caught up in Renault and Briatore's demise, right at the centre of the 'crashgate' affair.
Since 2010, Piquet has been rebuilding his name in the lower tiers of American Nascar racing.
Last weekend, he finally broke through with victory in the second-tier Nationwide category, ensuring the Brazilian's name is back in the headlines for the right reasons.
In the wake of his Road America win, reporters asked the now 26-year-old to reflect on his disastrous F1 career, and the idea of what might have been.
"What could have happened (in F1)?" Piquet said. "I don't know. Anything could have happened.
"It's just timing, being in the right place at the right time. There is a lot of drivers that are there right now that have won races and championships that I raced with before that I've won championships on before.
"But it's just being the right place at the right time and it didn't happen for me, but maybe it's happening now (in Nascar)," Piquet added.