Kelly Piquet, daughter of three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet, is a F1 paddock regular often seen alongside and supporting boyfriend Max Verstappen.
The German-born Brazilian national has forged her own career in the worlds of PR, writing and modelling, but the Piquet name is one that is strongly linked and synonymous with racing.
She was born on December 7 1988 and currently resides in Monaco along with Max Verstappen, Monte Carlo being the long-established hub for the F1 rich and famous.
Kelly Piquet has a reported net worth herself of $3million, while her father has a reported net worth of $200million.
Kelly Piquet’s family: A name steeped in racing history
Kelly Piquet spent her youth growing up in France, Brazil and the UK, but her second home would always be the racetrack because of her father, Nelson, and her older brother Nelson Piquet junior.
When Kelly Piquet was born, her father was entering into the twilight stages of his Formula 1 career driving for Lotus before spending a final two seasons in 1990 and 1991 respectively with Benetton.
Prior to that, though, Nelson Snr would become part of a very exclusive club, winning three World Championship titles in the early eighties.
However, Kelly’s father was and still is a very polarising and controversial figure, to the extent where his on-track achievements are overshadowed by his off-track comments.
Most recently in 2022, comments that could be easily interpreted as a racial slur towards Lewis Hamilton surfaced on social media and, while Piquet apologised and explained they were not said with racial intent, Formula 1 have banned him from the paddock and the British Racing Drivers’ Club suspended his membership with immediate effect in what became a huge wave of public condemnation.
In the midst of the storm, Max Verstappen criticised the decision to ban Nelson Piquet from the F1 paddock.
“Everyone is against racism and I think that’s very straight. The wording that was used was not correct,” Verstappen said.
“But I’ve spent a bit of time with Nelson, more than the average person, and he’s definitely not a racist. He’s actually a really nice, relaxed guy.
“It’s not about the n-word, it’s about using offensive language in general. But he doesn’t need me to tell him what is right and what isn’t. He already said in his statement, he used the wrong words.
“It can be interpreted in two ways, people pick up on the bad side, and then of course it gets really blown out of proportion.”
He continued: “”It’s better to open a conversation instead of banning. When you ban people, you’re actually not even helping the situation.
“You’re not talking. You need to communicate and communication is really important. You’re trying to educate people, so it’s better to have a chat and these things can be easily solved.
“When you have a fight and you insult someone, you have a chat, you apologise. With this it’s exactly the same.
“Things can be easily forgotten – as long as you learn from your mistake and the word that you used. I don’t think you should be banned from the paddock. Especially not a three-time World Champion.”
Kelly Piquet, though, has happier racing memories to draw upon as she watched her brother Nelson Piquet Jnr make his own way up through the ranks to Formula 1.
“My earliest memories date back to the racetrack, when I first came to Brazil at age five with my brother Nelson who was eight,” she said in an interview with the Dutch edition of Vogue.
“He went karting and was immediately obsessed. They are fond memories, the afternoons I spent at the go-kart track after school watching him go round and round until the sun went down.
“I was running around, playing with the mechanics. There is a really fun video clip of me walking down the pit lane with a sandwich in one hand and something to drink in my other, with my hair down to my buttocks. The princess of the track!”
“I was always very involved in my brother’s career. I’ve been through the ups and downs, seen what pressure does to someone. This world is so familiar to me, I know what those guys go through.”
Kelly Piquet’s prior relationship with Daniel Kvyat
Even before being in the full glare of the public eye by dating two-time World Champion Max Verstappen, Kelly Piquet was also in a relationship with ex-F1 driver Daniil Kvyat from January 2017 to December 2019. They have a daughter together called Penelope, who was born in July 2019.
Kvyat and Verstappen have also crossed paths in Formula 1, with Max Verstappen replacing Kvyat at Red Bull during the 2016 season and the Russian driver demoted back down to driving for sister team Toro Rosso. Kvyat was axed by Red Bull completely at the end of the 2020 campaign.
While on the surface it appears Kelly Piquet only dates F1 drivers, she explained to Vogue that isn’t the case.
She said: “I really did have boyfriends outside the racing world! My longest relationship was with someone from the financial world, so I know there’s more than the track.”
Kelly Piquet: Meeting Max Verstappen
Kelly Piquet’s relationship with Max Verstappen became public knowledge in January 2021, with Kelly now often seen alongside Red Bull’s star driver in F1 paddocks around the globe.
However, details are scarce on how the two became a couple and Kelly Piquet is reluctant to share that with the media.
“Maybe one day we will reveal the whole story, but I am careful with what I say,” she said.
“On the internet, everything derails so quickly. It’s nice to keep some things between us and us alone.”
However, she is much more open about what Max Verstappen is like as a person away from the race track.
“He remains so humble, he has both feet firmly on the ground,” she revealed, with Verstappen now a back-to-back World Champion.
“What I really like is that he knows what he wants and he is not afraid to say it. He is confident and not interested in fame or material things.
“We have a lot in common, are bon vivants. I realise more and more how similar he is to my father.”
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