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Briatore hints at Piquet exit and change in role.

Flavio Briatore has dropped the biggest hint yet that Nelsinho Piquet will no longer form a part of Renault's race-driving line-up in Formula 1 in 2009 – as he also revealed that his own role within the team is set to change.

Piquet has suffered a torrid debut campaign in the top flight this year, missing the Q1 cut in qualifying six times in 15 races and – a somewhat fortuitous Hockenheim podium aside – rarely even coming close to threatening the pace of double F1 World Champion team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Whilst the Spaniard has notched up 38 points for the Régie, the young Brazilian has managed just 13, and the 23-year-old – son of three-time 1980s title-winner Nelson Piquet – did little to help his cause by crashing out of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix night race last weekend.

With Renault test drivers and GP2 Series front-runners Lucas di Grassi and Romain Grosjean both believed to be under serious consideration for promotion next season [see separate story – click here] and hopes that Alonso will remain on-board, Briatore admits that Piquet's future at Enstone is very much hanging in the balance.

“He has not had a good season so far,” the Italian acknowledged in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. “He does a tidy job until qualifying, but suddenly things do not go as well. We will see.

“Fernando is with us; he presented himself to nobody.”

As to his own commitments at the French concern, there has been considerable speculation over both Briatore's health and long-term future in F1 in recent years, and the 58-year-old – who has been in charge on-and-off of Renault and its former incarnation Benetton for almost two decades – confirmed that a new team director will take care of the squad's day-to-day operation as of 2009, allowing him to scale down his own duties a little.

“Next year I will no longer be responsible for everything,” he explained, before adding: “I will concentrate on the most important elements.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault Team Principal, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 14-16th, March, 2008
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16 leads Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Luis Fernando Ramos (BRA), Journalist
27.11.2016 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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ze - Unregistered

October 03, 2008 1:13 AM

i don't think any of these guys would have done better than Piquet did when racing against Lewis in gp2, so i have to believe they won't do any better next year. Like Heiki also didn't...



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