Renault has finally confirmed the 'release' of Nelson Piquet and appointment of test driver Romain Grosjean to race alongside Fernando Alonso from this weekend's Valencia round onwards.
"I am very proud that the Renault F1 Team has given me the chance to become a race driver,” said Grosjean. “I'm looking forward to driving the R29 and helping the team get the best results possible. It's also an honour to be Fernando's team-mate and to make my Formula One debut alongside a double world champion is especially motivating."
The 23-year-old has been supported by Renault since he was 18 and became part of Renault's Driver Development programme (RDD) in 2006 after winning the French Formula Renault title.
In 2007 he was Formula 3 Euro Series champion and in 2008 he won the GP2 Asia Series. This season, Grosjean has been competing in the GP2 Series with Barwa Addax where he has demonstrated his talents with two victories.
"We are happy to give Romain the chance to start racing with the team,” stated team managing director Flavio Briatore. “He is an impressive young talent and we expect him to show his skills driving alongside Fernando as we take an aggressive approach to the second half of the season.”
Despite angry comments from Piquet, particularly towards 'his executioner' Briatore, the Renault statement declared: 'Nelson's departure follows a mutual agreement that this course of action is in the best interests of both parties.'
“We would like to thank Nelson for his contribution during the time he has been with us and wish him all the best for the future,” said Briatore.
Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi will assume third driver duties in Valencia whilst continuing with his GP2 series campaign.