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Fuji may have been too late for Piquet F1 future.

Nelsinho Piquet's future in Formula 1 remains balanced precariously on a knife-edge, it would seem, despite what was arguably the finest performance of the young Brazilian's fledgling career in the top flight in the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend.

Following a bright start, Piquet ran inside the points-scoring positions from the 'off' at Fuji Speedway, and would ultimately convert just twelfth spot on the grid into fourth place at the chequered flag – looking like he might even have a chance of a podium in the closing stages – after all-but matching the lap times of team-mate and race-winner Fernando Alonso throughout.

The result – what famously demanding Renault managing director Flavio Briatore acknowledged was the product of a 'great drive' [see separate story – click here] – lifted the 23-year-old up to twelfth position in the points standings with two grands prix left to run in the campaign, but it has not necessarily saved his seat at the Régie.

With the Italian team boss having acknowledged before Japan that Piquet had 'not had a good season' in 2008, and with persistent rumours that GP2 Series front-runner Lucas di Grassi could be in-line to replace his under-fire compatriot, it appears Fuji may have been a case of too little, too late.

“We will decide only at the end of the year what we are going to do,” Briatore told Dutch publication Formule 1 Race Report.

“A single race is not really going to change our thoughts. It seems to me only natural that he should be performing.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nelson Piquet (BRA) Renault R28, Hungarian F1, Hungaroring, 1st-3rd, August, 2008
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Flavio Briatore (ITA) and Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Flavio Briatore (ITA)
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Flavio Briatore (ITA)
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Alain Prost (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Team Special Advisor
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17

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