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Piquet fails at home as Renault announcement near.

Nelsinho Piquet vowed not to 'look back' after crashing out of his home grand prix at Interlagos at the weekend on only the opening lap – as Renault have confirmed they will reveal their 2009 Formula 1 driver line-up this week.

The under-pressure Brazilian needed a strong performance in front of his partisan supporters in São Paulo to stake one final claim to retaining his seat at the Enstone-based outfit next year.

After qualifying a solid if unspectacular eleventh – missing out on the top ten shoot-out by only the very tiniest of margins – what he did not need was to spin into retirement just seconds into the race.

“I don't really know what happened,” the 23-year-old confessed. “[I don't know] if I was touched or if I simply lost control of the car, but I couldn't see that much and I lost the rear in turn three.

“It's really frustrating not to complete my home grand prix, because a lot of things happened in the race and we could probably have taken advantage of them. We should not look back, though, and I want to thank the team for their support this weekend.”

Whether that support will continue into next season remains unclear, as Renault managing director Flavio Briatore told international news agency Reuters in Brazil that 'we will announce both drivers on Wednesday' (5 November).

Whilst former double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso is seen as all-but certain to stay on-board rather than jump ship to Honda – his only real viable alternative now – the identity of the Spaniard's team-mate could be one of potentially three drivers.

Piquet's vastly-improved second half to a troubled rookie campaign in the top flight has done much to help his cause, but with test drivers and GP2 Series front-runners Lucas di Grassi and Romain Grosjean both eagerly waiting in the wings – and suggestions the French concern 'needs' a French driver in 2009 [see separate story – click here] – the jury remains out. Wednesday, it seems, will finally provide the answer.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nelson Piquet (BRA) Renault R28, Hungarian F1, Hungaroring, 1st-3rd, August, 2008
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
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, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16

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Boo - Unregistered

November 03, 2008 1:37 PM

I'd say going back to testing is a career killer, but that's what Massa did and now look at him. Having said that, Ferrari had a careful plan for him - I'm not convinced Piquet has as much backing from Renault as Grosjean or di Grassi has. I think Matt is right - Bourdais deserves a shot at the drive he should have had about 7 years ago! Can't see him wanting to go back there though, sadly. di Grassi impressed me in GP2, but my guess is - of the two - Grosjean is better favoured in the team. The only thing I will say is that Piquet and Alonso were close-ish in testing this year and Piquet's career as always shown him to be a hugely improved 2nd year driver. Maybe he just blossoms late.



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