Lucas di Grassi has revealed that he wasn't surprised to see Renault elect to retain Nelson Piquet Jr alongside Fernando Alonso for the 2009 Formula One season.

di Grassi, part of the Renault F1 test team, was one of the drivers linked to a possible race seat next season as pressure increased on Piquet to retain his drive after a difficult maiden season with the Regie.

However, he eventually did enough to secure a one-year extension to his contract, leaving di Grassi and fellow tester Romain Grosjean to look for other options to try and make it onto the F1 grid - although di Grassi said he wasn't surprised to see the call made.

"I've known for a long time the decision in Renault," he wrote on his website. "It wasn't at all a surprise for me that they would keep their line-up. Some people there are very well connected and it was not easy for me, even having the support from some RF1 people, to get a race seat."

di Grassi will join Honda for the upcoming F1 test at Catalunya where he will get time at the wheel alongside fellow GP2 racer Bruno Senna and while the young Brazilian admitted his focus was on trying to secure a race seat for next year, he said he would be happy to continue with Renault if no options were available.

"I can say I am very happy to stay at Renault, if I do," he said. "They've been very good to me and I owe this company (and the people there) a lot.

"But I want to move on. I have spent a year being third driver and I believe I could go a step further in my career and be a race driver. I will work for this and doesn't matter which team.

"There are a few options available and you know soon where I am aiming to be next year."


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