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di Grassi remains focused on race seat.

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."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lucas di Grassi celebrates victory in the feature race at Monza   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
(L to R): Bob Bell (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team Chief Technical Officer with Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director; Jerome Stoll (FRA) Renault Sport F1 President; Thierry Koskas, Renault Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing; and Louise Ekland (GBR).
Renault Sport Academy Drivers (L to R): Max Fewtrell (GBR); Jack Aitken (GBR); Jarno Opmeer (NLD); Sun Yue Yang (CHN). 
Sun Yue Yang (CHN) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) Renault Sport F1 Team Third Driver.
Jarno Opmeer (NLD) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
Max Fewtrell (GBR) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
Max Fewtrell (GBR) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
Max Fewtrell (GBR) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
Jack Aitken (GBR) Renault Sport Academy Driver.

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Max Well

November 10, 2008 12:09 AM

I agree that Piquet is VERY lucky to keep that seat! I'd like to seee Di Grassi, Senna in F1 next year, they look the best of the up and comers. Unfortunately looks like Buemi will get one of their seats. (Remind me what has he done? Nothing, yet.) and Grosjean will possibly get the Renault seat in '10, i hope some of F1's senior citizens will step aside, Button, Barrichello, Fisi, give it up! No F1 championship for you!

sharla82 - Unregistered

November 09, 2008 9:05 PM

I can't see why they didnt give someone else a test. Piquet has been rubbish all year. I really thought he would have out qualified or raced Alonso at least a few time - but no !. Goes to prove how good Hamilton was against Alonso.

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