Having previously declared that Scuderia Toro Rosso star Sébastien Bourdais was 'too old' to be considered by Renault for its 2009 Formula 1 line-up, Flavio Briatore has now revealed that Romain Grosjean's candidacy was dismissed because the Frenchman is conversely 'too young'.
Grosjean – along with fellow GP2 Series front-runner and Renault Driver Development programme member Lucas di Grassi – was believed to have been under consideration to replace Nelsinho Piquet at the Régie
next season, prior to the post-Interlagos announcement that the Brazilian is to be given a stay of execution following his torrid debut season in the top flight in 2008.
Swiss-born Grosjean sensationally triumphed in the inaugural GP2 Asia Series and finished fourth in his maiden summer campaign of GP2 with former series champions ART Grand Prix, but Renault F1 managing director Briatore contends the 22-year-old 'made too many mistakes' along the way and was 'too young' to be considered for promotion just yet.
The famously outspoken Italian, however, acknowledged that it is right for Renault to 'experiment with new drivers' as it similarly did with Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen and Piquet before putting them onto the grand prix grid – and suggested that even if he is set for a second season of GP2 in the short-term, in the longer term Grosjean is still looking good for a future with the Enstone-based outfit.
“If you want to win with somebody really good, you need to bring up your own drivers in-house, like we did with Fernando, and McLaren with [Lewis] Hamilton,” Briatore told Spanish newspaper Marca