Nelson Piquet Jnr: was he lucky or good?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nelson Piquet Jnr finished second at the Hockenheimring
Nelson Piquet Jnr finished second at the Hockenheimring

Nelson Piquet Jnr has not had the best of seasons so far. I picked him as the worst driver of the year so far when I ranked them all after the British Grand Prix and few of you seemed to disagree.

Today he gave Renault their first podium finish of the year. But how much of it was down to luck?

The safety car period that followed Timo Glock’s crash could not have been timed more perfectly for Nelson Piquet Jnr. He made his only stop for fuel – having qualified 17th – on lap 36. At the same time, Glock was burying his Toyota into the pit wall, causing a lengthy safety car period.

That left Piquet third on the road and, once Lewis Hamilton and Nick Heidfeld had made their pit stops, gave him the lead of the race.

When the race got back under way he was able to defend his position from Felipe Massa, who never really got close to him. He held the lead for six laps before Lewis Hamilton forced his way past. Piquet continued to lap quickly and Massa couldn’t get near to him to make a pass for second.

I thought Piquet showed a lot of maturity in the closing stages of the race. He didn’t throw the car off the track tying to defend his lead from Hamilton, and he set some of his fastest laps of the race to keep Massa at bay.

No, he wouldn’t have finished second on merit. But he took the opportunity that was presented to him and made the most of it – and sometimes that’s the best you can do in F1. How did you rate Piquet Jnr’s drive?

It was Piquet\'s first podium finish and Renault\'s first of the year
It was Piquet's first podium finish and Renault's first of the year

75 comments on “Nelson Piquet Jnr: was he lucky or good?”

  1. He himself said he was lucky in the post conference. Although he did well to finish ahead of both Ferraris and 1 McLaren.

  2. Lucky, but think he did a good job bringing home the Renault ahead for Massa. Alonso himself has suggested that the balance on the Renault is making it a tough drive and I think that is why Nelson has been struggling all season. He hasn’t just had to make the adjustment to the top formula, he’s having to do it in a car that seems to be walking a tight rope round most circuits. Alonso is an awesome driver, probably the only one in the field who is going to give Hamilton a serious challenge in equal hardware. Fair play to Nelsinho for a good finish today, let’s just hope Renault can provide him with a better car next year so he gets a fair chance to prove his place in F1.

  3. He was lucky in ending up in the position he did, but he showed some skill in keeping Massa at bay, although that Ferrari wasn’t on form at all. I still don’t think he’s very good, but I have a higher opinion of him than I did before the race.

  4. He was lucky. Not sure how Brundle could give him “driver of the day” after Hamilton effectively rescued the race after McLaren dug a great big hole for him.

  5. @Jack: Massa was nowhere near Piquet. He didn’t need to keep Massa at bay.

  6. He was lucky to finish exactly where he did, yes. Having said that, he would most likely have finished in the points anyway with the one-stop strategy he was on, which takes some skill in making sure the tyres last for the whole of both stints.

    Although you were right, Keith, to put him as your worst driver of the season so far, I think he’s shown some marked improvement in the past couple of races and certainly deserves to keep his seat until at least the end of the season.

  7. I was astonished to see him up there in 1st. And then I was appalled to see him give it up to Hamilton so easily.

  8. Would have LOVED to have seen Alonso in Piquets position. How hard would he have defended that lead from Hamilton :)

  9. Alonso said to the Spanish press http://www.marca.com/edicion/marca/motor/formula1/es/desarrollo/1148069.html
    that “luck was against him in the decisive moments”, and that Nelsinho was JUST LUCKY: “…people like my team-mate that had some troble this weekend and couldn’t find the pace, and suddenly a safety car gives him the podium…” It is now clear that, as he can’t challenge Lewis to the WDC, he is trying at least to win the “Worst PR Championship”…

  10. Certainly lucky, but luck is one of the most underrated traits of a driver. Just ask Kimi.

  11. “Worst PR Championship”: Hamilton is the strongest contender, for sure, only challenged by “bad luck” Fernando. Kimi also tried hard at his incident against the photographer…

  12. He was lucky to get in a good position but didn’t screw up things then. The renault is not the best car on the grid, so let’s not downplay what was a decent driving in the end.

  13. Robert McKay
    20th July 2008, 17:39

    He was lucky AND good, which is a nice combination.

    Once the SC went in Massa never looked like having a sniff of getting past him. He did make the same mistake as Massa and let Hamilton by too easily, practically jumping out of the way, but it made more sense for him to be conservative and take the second.

    I think Piquet has shown signs of improvement recently. He’s got into the top 10 a couple of times (though this weekend he had another Q1 knockout), and he’s raced fairly well in the last few GPs. Hopefully this will give him a bit of confidence and raise his game further (and annoy Alonso in the process).

    And we’ve seen quite a few luck-ins to podium positions this weekend, so he’s not the only one to get lucky.

  14. It was a combination of luck and skill, luck because he ended up leading the race during the SC period due to his one stop strategy, but also skill because he comfortably managed to keep Massa at bay. And the Ferrari is supposed to be much faster…

    It was nice to see a new face on the podium.

  15. I would’ve had him down to make a hash of things somewhere near the end, so to finish second, and ahead of a Ferrari, is a job done well – regardless of how he got there.

    No matter how much luck plays, it’s down to the drivers to play with that element of luck and not throw it away.

    Hopefully this will give him a confidence boost and help Renault throughout the next half of the season.

  16. “When the race got back under way he was able to defend his position from Felipe Massa, who never really got close to him. He held the lead for six laps before Lewis Hamilton forced his way past. Piquet continued to lap quickly and Massa couldn’t get near to him to make a pass for second.

    I thought Piquet showed a lot of maturity in the closing stages of the race. He didn’t throw the car off the track tying to defend his lead from Hamilton, and he set some of his fastest laps of the race to keep Massa at bay.

    No, he wouldn’t have finished second on merit. But he took the opportunity that was presented to him and made the most of it – and sometimes that’s the best you can do in F1.”

    Sorry to quote some paragraphs, but what i had to say wouldn’t make half as sense otherwise. Nelsinho Jnr. kept his cool… The fact that it took Lewis 6 laps in a much faster car to overtake him and Massa who languished in 3rd place(i expected better from him) chasing him, speaks volumes about his performance today. My opinion is that he showed more talent today than he had luck on his side.

  17. He was lucky 2 or 3 times over.
    1) Qualified well outside the top ten and had a one stop strategy forced on him
    2) Had his pit stop just before the accident of Glock. The safety car then bunched up all the cars together, such that when the others pitted he ended up ahead of them.
    3)Massa was already experience problems with his brakes so could not push harder during the latter stages of the race.

  18. Sri you said it took Hamilton 6 laps to overtake Piquet. I hope u realize Hamilton wasn’t flying an airplane but was driving on 4 sets of wheels and tyres and coming from a long distance behind.

  19. Nelson Piquet did a good job today ….his performance today was great ! . He did more than what everybody expect from his car , i hope this is a good thing for him . In a normal day nobody can expect such a performance from Renault or other normal cars. There is a little luck involved , but still it was a good achievement . At least i am sure he will drive comfortably in the coming races , which adds some value to him .

    well , kimi didnt do much , his waiting at the pitlane costs some thing , still i belive ferrari was not the best car today

  20. Missouri Mike
    20th July 2008, 20:17

    As others have said, Piquet got supremely lucky, but managed to take full advantage of that luck. After Lewis got by I was absolutely convinced that Massa would blow by him as well, resulting in a battle between McLaren and Ferrari for the win. How frustrated must Ferrari and the tifosi be that Massa was unable to catch up with the rookie in a Renault although he had several laps to close the gap!

  21. lucky or good, when luck gets handed to them, a smart driver grabs it with both hands and shakes it upside down. i think that’s what piquet lite did today. good man. he did show he can keep his head.

    a lacklustre outing for anyone i cheer on but i had to laugh at massa taking on hamilton. good fun. great moves by lewis-he sort of reminded me of michael a bit. but i think we may see massa upping his game. hopefully the team takes note. i’m not a real massa fan but i sort of like him when he goes into the terrier mode.

  22. I would say Hamilton was luckier than Piquet. Didn’t anyone see Ron Dennis take his finger off the radio button and then Heikki move over for Lewis????? If it weren’t for that, Piquet may have won!

  23. steve thompson
    20th July 2008, 21:29

    Lucky maybe. But so worth it just to imagine how irritated Alonso will be. One would think a World Champion would have the self confidence to be generous to those who share his team, but not Alonso, he seems to need to feel he has the psychological advantage. I wonder f he got a sip of Nelson’s champagne?

  24. ################################
    11 qazuhb 20 July 2008 at 5:24 pm

    “Worst PR Championship”: Hamilton is the strongest contender, for sure, only challenged by “bad luck” Fernando. Kimi also tried hard at his incident against the photographer…
    ###############################

    I think Kimi wins hands down with this…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGvoGqB-j_U

  25. Nelson deserved some luck after previous disappointments. I am glad for the Brazilian, although I seem to be the only one on his side.

  26. Cobra – I don’t think he ‘deserved’ anything – he’s massively under-performed this year, it’s not as if he’s been unlucky before or anything. This week was the fourth time he’d failed to get beyond Q1, for example.

    But like I said in the article I thought he made the best of the opportunity that was presented to him, which is commendable. Other rookies facing the same kind of pressure might have thrown it off the track.

    And like Mike said it’s really surprising Massa didn’t catch him – though how much of that is to Piquet credit or Massa’s discredit I’m not sure…

  27. 24 Matt 20 July 2008 at 10:09 pm
    ################################

    I think Kimi wins hands down with this…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGvoGqB-j_U

    Matt, I had not seen this one previously… really poses a big challenge to “ridiculous pace” Lewis and “I don’t deserve this” Fernando!

  28. It must be said over and over that Piquet was the luckiest driver, in a single race, that I can remember, at least on the last ten years…

    He was pitted exactly when Glock hit the pit wall, so he could capitalize on his one stop strategy.

    Nelsinho today was luckier than Rubinho eight years ago, for example, because in 2000 Barrichello at least had to gamble on staying with slicks on the wet track… Piquet today just had to keep it going (remarkably fast, I must concede) until the chequered flag…

  29. Fergus Gallas
    21st July 2008, 1:59

    I always take a look at this blog and it’s quite funny to see how most of you rate Piquet Jnr.
    So I took some time to check how was the first year of some British f1 champs.
    – Nigel_Mansell 1980 Lotus : Points – 0
    – Damon Hill 1992 Brabham : Points – 0
    – James Hunt 1973 Hesketh Racing/March Chassi : Points – 14
    – Jackie Stewart 1965 Owen Racing Organisation/BRM : Points – 33(34)
    – Graham Hill 1958 Lotus : Points – 0
    – Jim Clark 1960 Lotus : Points – 8
    – John Surtees 1960 Lotus : Points – 6
    – Mike Hawthorne 1952 : Points – 10

    So i believe that Piquet Jnr is in quite good company in his rookie year, as he has got 10 points so far.

  30. 28 Daniel 21 July 2008 at 1:41 am
    Piquet today just had to keep it going (remarkably fast, I must concede) until the chequered flag…

    Daniel, I think “remarkably fast” is the key here…
    I must admit I didn’t give a damn for Nelsinho previously, but the way he kept his head cold and his foot hot really impressed me today.

  31. michael counsell
    21st July 2008, 2:33

    After the safety car only Hamilton, Heidfeld and arguable Raikkonen were faster than him which is very impressive. The Renault is quick as Alonso showed in qualifying but never really had the chance to show in the race.

    “And like Mike said it’s really surprising Massa didn’t catch him – though how much of that is to Piquet credit or Massa’s discredit I’m not sure…”

    What about all the other drivers who were no where near Massa?

    On qualifying form the fastest Ferrari was only a few tenths faster than the fastest Renault. Piquet was as fast as he should be given that he was on the soft tyres compared to Massa’s hard. The impressive thing about Piquet was that the made his soft tyres last, recording his fastest lap on lap 66, one lap from the finish.

    Massa did seem to be losing a lot of brake dust which can’t have helped, yet he managed to comfortably lead the rest of the field and even hold behind the 2nd fastest driver in the second half of the race, Heidfeld (albeit with the fastest lap).

    True Massa didn’t win and should have defended Hamilton more but overall his race was good and was comfortably ahead of his teammate for the whole weekend.

  32. Fergus: whilst that may be true of earlier years, I’d say the bar has been raised considerably that rookies must show at least signs of promise at a very early stage. Places in F1 can be volatile and even good drivers need to work at keeping their places – there are probably more contenders nowadays up for an F1 seat.

    This probably hasn’t helped with Lewis Hamilton setting a high standard in his rookie year – taking pro and con arguments aside. Given that Piquet was his rival in GP2, and that Piquet has joined a top team (well, one that has won championships beating Ferrari in recent years), many were excited at the prospects of Piquet in F1.

    Without comparing him to Hamilton, he’s hardly shone full stop as a driver, often making a hash of it during qualifying, or in races. It’s been pretty much uninspiring to watch so far, but now that we see he can be sensible in a top position, and not flunk away something good, things can change.

    F1’s a tough business, often no love lost, and although Piquet’s often dismissed I want to see if this will improve his confidence and do better, or if it is just a one hit wonder.

  33. I don’t think he was 100% lucky, but I wonder what Renault have done to improve pace; earlier in the year he would have been lunchmeat for the cars behind him, and he’d have settled in behind Kimi.

    If an article comes out later this week announcing that Renault are under investigation, we’ll have the answer.

  34. Piquet did a great job on the track today. Yes, he was boosted into contention by the combination of luck (the safety car) and strategy (one-stopper), but the fact is that he outran Massa, who was in a surely superior car, from the restart of the race to put distance on him and finish second. He showed poise in the situation in which he was at the front of the field racing against superior cars. Hamilton got by, but that was pretty much a given.

    Also, it’s worth noting that he has beaten Alonso two of the last three weeks in the race. Perhaps its now Alonso’s job at Renault that could be on the line! LOL!

  35. As they say, ‘fortune favours the brave’. Yes, Piquet did get a big piece of luck today, but he had to be in that position to take advantage in the first place.
    Of all the drivers on the grid, Piquet’s head has been on the chopping block all season, and this result is just what he needed.
    To really rub salt into the wound, he secured Renault’s first podium since Fuji last year, something Fernando Alonso has yet to achieve since returning to the fold.
    Whether Piquet has a long term future is hard to say, but this race certainly helped prolong it just that little more further.

  36. @Oliver
    Tsk, tsk. I sniff sarcasm. However mate, let us look at facts.
    Hamilton’s fastest lap time: 1:16.039
    Piquet’s fastest lap time: 1:16.910

    Hmm, it seems to me almost a second. In F1 parlance, i hope you understand that it is almost a light-year. Most teams would be happy to gain that much time at the turn of the season. So Ham may not have had “an airplane”, as you mentioned, but his car was indeed flying(relatively speaking).

  37. @ Oliver

    Almost forgot to mention one tiny detail… Remember Alonso? Yes, the back-to-back champion from not so long ago. His fastest lap time was: 1:17.115

    Now that is telling. If you still have a problem with me praising Piquet, well nevermind…

  38. Fergus Gallas
    21st July 2008, 4:49

    Loki: I do agree that things were different but they were rookies anyway.
    It is not fair to say that Renault is a top team these days (Alonso must have something to say about this), if so I should consider Williams as well (beated Ferrari and Schumacher all the same).

    >>“Places in F1 can be volatile and even good drivers need to work at keeping their places – there are probably more contenders nowadays up for an F1 seat.” <<

    Rookies of this millennium:
    – Robert Kubica 2006 BMW : 6 races (3rd italy) 6points – 1point/race
    – Timo Glock 2008(not considering2004) Toyota 5points – 0.5point/race
    – Nico Rosberg 2006 Williams : 4 points – 0.22point/race
    – Vettel 2007 BMW / STR : 8 races 6 points – 0.75point/race
    – Button 2000 Williams : 12 points – 0.7point/race

    Would you burn these guys?
    Regarding Hamilton: He is a great driver, i am certain that he will take some f1 titles, but wouldn’t you agree that his rookie year must have been different if he had something else in his hands other than Mclaren or Ferrari?

    Piquet was a great contender to Hamilton when they had similar conditions. I wonder if we’ll be fortunate enough to see that again.

    With similar cars would be safe to say if a driver is good or just a weekend driver. Other than that we should be glad to see races like we had today in Germany.

  39. It’s easy to throw criticisms at Piquet for some of his performances this year, but again: he is just a rookie. Expecting any rookie to perform like Hamilton did last year is wholly unrealistic because 1) not every driver is as good as Lewis Hamilton (I would contend that none in F1 are), and 2) not every rookie gets the chance to drive a car as good as the McLaren was last year. Renault is no longer a top-tier team, so expecting him to challenge for podiums regularly is unrealistic. Most rookies make a number of mistakes and crash their fair share of cars.

    What you look for in rookies when you evaluate them is how they progress over the course of the season and how they handle certain situations when they face them. Piquet has faced lots of media criticism for his poor start to the season and his mistakes. He’s responded to the media criticism by remaining focused and improving his performances. He was decent at Monaco and Montreal before crashing. He was good at Magny Cours and even overtook his twice-world-champion teammate on the track to take 7th. He was quick in qualifying at Silverstone and was solidly in contention for a points finish before the spin. And today, he drove a great race at Hockenheim.

    Let’s see how he continues to progress before we rush to judgment about him and his place in F1.

  40. Was Piquet on the podium today due to luck? To an extent, yes, but let’s give him some credit. Just look at some of his DNFs earlier in the year- judging by some of his past performances, I was expecting him to crack when he got the lead and was challenged by Hamilton. While Lewis won, Piquet brought the car home in second, and that deserves a hand. Sometimes things just fall into place, and a poor driver would not have made the msot out of them- Piquet did.

    Chunter- you’ve got a good one with the investigation. My question for the weekend is this: How dose Piquet bring the Renault home in front of the Ferraris and BMWs while Fernando lagged further down the grid in the same machinery? Interesting…

  41. Lucky to find himself at the front after the safety car.

    Good job from him to stay there and bring the car home in 2nd place and comfortably keeping Massa behind.

  42. “How dose Piquet bring the Renault home in front of the Ferraris and BMWs while Fernando lagged further down the grid in the same machinery? Interesting…”

    Alonso simply drives this year in “all or nothing” style. Also, by qualifying 5th he had no chance to even think about 1 stop strategy that would allow him to have that luck that sent Piquet to the front end of the pack.

    At the same time have to say that several of Alonso’s overtaking maneuvre attempts looked very misjudged … As far as I could see none of them worked out for him, but several went the wrong way for him – loosing places to cars behind him instead of gaining some … Sure not a race he can be proud of.

    For some added irony, here are some Alonso’s words before the race:

    “My team-mate was out in the Q1 and I am fifth on the grid. It’s a little frustrating to know that with only a slightly better car, I could be fighting for wins.”

  43. Pedro Andrade
    21st July 2008, 9:06

    Did anyone else notice how low key were the Renault guys on the pit wall as Piquet crossed the line? I think they knew Alonso would be very ****** off!

  44. @Sri

    “Nelsinho Jnr. kept his cool… The fact that it took Lewis 6 laps in a much faster car to overtake him and Massa who languished in 3rd place(i expected better from him) chasing him, speaks volumes about his performance today”

    “Tsk, tsk. I sniff sarcasm. However mate, let us look at facts.
    Hamilton’s fastest lap time: 1:16.039
    Piquet’s fastest lap time: 1:16.910”

    Sri with both statements you just made, you seem to contradict yourself. If Hamilton was almost a second faster than Piquet, then how many laps would he take him to catch Piquet from being maybe 5 or 6 seconds behind or even more, and having to go past another car to get to Piquet.
    I have no problem with your praise of Piquet, I only feel you reporting or analysis is totally flawed and a poor assessment at best.

  45. I do not think anyone expects Piquet to win races, be on the podium regularly, or finish in the points at every race. Considering his reputation while in GP2, the lease expected of him, is to put in a consistent performance, and be much closer to his team mate during qualifying at the very least. The reality is that Piquet has been prone to making too many mistakes, crashing out of races while not under any pressure and much too often.

    Podium or not, he has driven very poorly all season. The only good race he has had so far was the French Grand Prix.

  46. Fergus Gallas
    21st July 2008, 11:08

    There is no such thing as “consistent performance” from a rookie. I can’t remember such thing from a driver in a first year tournament in all these years watching formula1 races other than Hamilton’s2007. And i am doing so since Scheckter1979.

  47. He had luck no doubt, but also did great to take it and make something out of it , even resisting Lewis’ pass on him more than Massa did. Proves also that driving at the front is so much easier than the tight pack he usually starts (and ends!) in . He has a lot of work to do in getting up to speed for qualifying , keeping his cool , so he does not destroy his chances even before the race starts. If he can get that right , I won’t say yet he could become a champ , but he would get in the points fairly often.

  48. Fergus, JV 1996 was also consistent, albeit not as consistent as Lewis’. :) Senna 1984 was also consistent, albeit in a slower car, which was why we couldn’t really see the results.

  49. Fergus Gallas
    21st July 2008, 12:26

    Journeyer: All I’m saying is that it is absolutely normal a rookie make mistakes and even rubbish driving is aloud.
    As for Senna 1984, in his rookie year finished 6 races and made 13 points. But with a “Toleman” someone might say, a standart rookie team/car I should say. The points were due to his skills and quite a good deal of luck as I remember. Quite as Piquet did yesterday. I’m not comparing both drivers here.
    JV 1996 was much a rookie as Nigel Mansell was in 1993 CART series. They were champions in the previous year in a competitive championship. Not sure if you could name him a real rookie coming from junior categories.

  50. @Fergus

    Piquet is not getting a lot of criticism now because we expect more from a rookie, rather its more becuase of the way he was running his mouth before he became an F1 driver.
    GP2 is much more closer in performance to F1 than F3000 or F3 ever was, and u have also, that Piquet, had an entire year of testing. The least one would expect, is that he would have the car underneath him as much as possible.
    He has a 2 time world champion as a team mate, and is the certified number 2 in the team, what then is putting him under pressure that he makes mistakes so frequently, and even several times in a single race.

    Had he been a Japanese driver, we all would be screaming that he be removed from the car.

  51. I hope he doesn´t start with his big mouth again. But anyway he was very inteligent in race. As we saw in the track and in his quotes:

    Nelson :”…The car was getting better and better and our set-up was working very well. Fernando even used a bit of our set-up as I think they went the wrong way a bit….”

    “…I knew Lewis was coming by quick and I knew Felipe wasn’t that much quicker than me, so I decided not to make it such a big fuss with Lewis…”

  52. It is worth remembering that Nelson is still a Rookie, and therefore very much the ‘disposable’ driver at Renault, and liable to be blamed for everything that isn’t right on a race weekend!
    So comparing his steady (if lucky) race to ex WC Alonso’s all-or-nothing style which cost him valuable places and points, you have to wonder where Renault would rank them now….
    And this must also do the Alonso-to-Ferrari rumour mill no good either, since he very much appears to be proving himself at Massa’s level at best, instead of better than Kimi!
    So, as I pointed out a while ago, Nelson is a driver to pay attention to this year, and possibly next, since he might surprise everyone yet!

  53. TommyB (8) – Yes, it would have been very entertaining to see Alonso in Piquet’s position.

    Fergus (29) – Was Damon Hill’s Brabham anyway near as competitive as Piquet’s Renault? I don’t think so. It wasn’t good enough to qualify on several occasions. I think a lot of these comparisons are fairly obviously flawed. But I take your point that sometimes great talents have inauspicious beginnings. Perhaps Piquet gets a bad press because he’s had his dad helping him through the junior formulae, and people think he’s been ‘found out’ now he’s in F1.

    Michael Counsell (31) – “What about all the other drivers who were no where near Massa?” – Fair point, Kovalainen made no impression on Massa after getting past Kubica.

    Gman (40) – Well, Alonso didn’t have Piquet’s luck for starters. And after his brush with Vettel in the pits he seemed to lose his cool as he tried to pass Vettel he just ended up letting other cars behind him past. Whereas Piquet, out front, wasn’t trying to pass anyone and not running in ditry air and therefore not hurting his tyres as much as Alonso was.

    Oliver (50) – Plenty of people have been demanding Piquet be removed from the car – around here at least!

  54. Fergus Gallas
    21st July 2008, 14:31

    Oliver

    Big mouth in Formula1 is part of the game. Show me a champ that hadn’t done for sometime. The competition is harder off track than on Sundays.
    Piquet’s team mate, a 2 time champ, has done quite nice dry spins this season and is only few points away. Is he pressured by Rookie Nelson?
    I will remember this season as the “mistakes/errors” season.
    Champ Bourdais had nice ones, no one crashed more than “experienced” Coulthard, Hamilton did the most surprising/silly one, Massa with a wonderful ballet, Kimi sends his doubles sometimes, steady Kubi had his slides days too. And the season champ will come from Ham, Kimi, Mas or Kubi, who ever keep his head on track more than the others, despite skills and greatness. I sincerely don’t remember a driver that hasn’t done funny things this year. I suppose that is why it is been enjoyable.

  55. Fergus Gallas
    21st July 2008, 14:56

    Keith
    You got it – We don’t know what would come from Piquet if he continues on F1. He could become no one on F1 history, but we shall not bury anyone at rookie year.
    Piquet had help from his father. He gave him a competitive opportunity and sponsorship. The father wasn’t driving the car and Jnr showed that he had talent. You know how important good gears/money are in this “sport”. You can’t succeed without it.
    Hamilton, Nico, Glock, to name the recent ones, had it and grabbed the opportunity. Champs on their own rights. And F1 is not easy on 2 of them.

  56. fair points, fergus. this season does seem to be more down to the drivers than the cars. up to this point at least.

  57. If You compare in straight numbers:
    Alonso X Piquet
    Fisichella x Sutil.

    And finally remembering the numbers:
    Alonso x Fisichella

    Result.
    Piquet is better then Sutil. And the german have the biggest mouth to.

  58. For me, the most ironic thing above all was:

    “The car was getting better and better and our set-up was working very well. Fernando even used a bit of our set-up as I think they went the wrong way a bit.”

    (NELSON on the post-press after the race)

  59. I think Alonso’s opinion of Nelson’s luck was valid, but it was unnecessary for the team. he should keep something like that to himself and not play down the team’s and his teammate’s podium finish.

    Congrats to Nelson for not messing this up.

    it also really ticked me off to see Heidfeld and Nelson telaport to the front like that. I was hoping to see Kubica on podium but he didn’t have the speed to deal with Hikki. Something must have not been working out for Kubi because the front end was all over the place when Hikki and Kimi passed him.

    Not all that bad of a result for BMW and Heidfeld will look a lot better. Saved his ass from a disappointing 11th.

  60. steve thompson
    21st July 2008, 20:11

    Brar – that doesn’t add up at all:

    Alonso X Piquet
    Fisichella x Sutil.

    And finally remembering the numbers:
    Alonso x Fisichella

    Result = Alonso is better than Piquet and Fisichella and ergo by extension Sutil

    Whether Sutil is better or worse than Piquet can’t be deduced from that equation.

    sorry to be pedantic but its falacious maths

  61. steve thompson
    21st July 2008, 20:13

    Sorry one more thing. Since when has luck mattered in F1 – how many have lost Grand Prix or have come to win them because engines blew up or tyres deflated. I loved seeing the order get screwed about with like that….brilliant fun. This is meant to be fun isn’t it?

  62. Steve Thompson.

    Result is not so linear…. but Is that Piquet matched more Alonso then Sutil matched Fisichella.
    Fisico is mutch better in Force India then in Renault? Perhaps! But nevertheless now I thing that we can bet in Nelson more money then in Sutil.

    I would agree with you in the past when Nelson was clearly out of pace. But I changed my mind after, French, British and German GP.

    Nelson had a pace in the final laps that surprised everybody including Briatore. And that, I agree, is more important then the second place.

  63. “It looks very amateurish when the guy who nearly wins the race starts 17th and only overtakes one car, Kazuki Nakajima’s Williams, because he spun. For me, that is not what Formula One is all about.” – Mark Webber.

    In years gone by, under certain circumstances, races were stopped when there were serious crashes on the race track and drivers were able to retain any lead they had built up.

  64. Fergus Gallas
    22nd July 2008, 11:33

    I wonder what Webber must have said if he was in Piquet’s position….

  65. Oliver, this is true, however if a race was stopped now, the gap between the leader and the people behind would not be retained. Since 1998, races that have been red-flagged and re-started are no longer run on aggregate, so it is now just a standing version of a Safety Car restart.

  66. michael counsell
    22nd July 2008, 13:49

    Piquet was on a one stop strategy so you wouldn’t expect him to overtake anyone just make up positions by pitting one time less. He got lucky but a pretty big advantage of his strategy was that if he stayed on the lead lap any safety car within a 10 to 15 lap window would put him at or near the front of the field.

  67. Adam Dennehey
    22nd July 2008, 21:55

    Spot on review on piquet’s drive. Of course it was lucky but he took advantage of it just like Renault and towards the end drove maturley. If Massa had fought Lewis abit more and held him up for 3-4 laps instead of what he did then Nelson might’ve just eeeked out a bigger enough gap to win.

    Thankfully that didn’t happen. Piquet did well to keep it on the track all w/end but because of this result he shudn’t relax. It was a flukey 2nd and one that he should be grateful for a long time. I suspect he’ll hav a decent 2nd half of the season.

  68. Pardon me for putting the race on in the middle: how was a one-stop strategy legal? Was the race declared wet? I thought two tire changes were mandatory in dry races?

  69. Chunter – No, it’s mandatory for each driver to use each of the two compounds of dry tyre at least once during the race, unless they’ve used a wet weather tyre.

  70. I just had to come back to this thread and say that I think the stupid safety car rules ruined this race.Heidfeld should have been on podium but,Piquet was up ther where he didn’t belong just because he just happened to pit before the S.C. appearence.He also gave Hamilton a larger margin in the points from his REAL rivals.NOT FAIR!

    O.K….I feel better now.

  71. I too just have to come back to this thread and say how strange it is, that a driver is being congratulated for keeping his car within the boundaries of the race track, when that is what he is being paid to do. IT seem more and more, Piquet is being congratulated for not making a mistake, which shows just how badly he has performed all season and how it has affected our reasoning.

  72. Fergus Gallas
    23rd July 2008, 14:09

    This Piquet issue proves once again that when the driver is racing in lower positions, 8th to 20th, he will quite probably commit a mistake, not because his a bad driver but the battle is insane and anxiety dominates him. Even the top four in the charts had done it this year when they were in such situations. On the other hand when the guys that are used to be on the back happens, regarding luck or not, to be at the top 6 positions we don’t see them making so many mistakes.

    That’s quite interesting.

    It is obvious that some are better than others but we will never know how much better. The equipment/cars are way too different.

  73. So if a driver can go one stint on each tire–

    Does such a strategy have a future among the backmarkers?

  74. Oliver, did you know that piquet didn´t run last year and he only drove his car 10 times???

    Maybe this is the answer for bad results.

    Hamilton jumps directly from GP2 to F1 with no stops.

    In GP2 Hamilton had better car than piquet, however Piquet showed great results.

  75. Heiki Kovalainen: was he lucky or good?
    He drives a McLaren, but Kubica and Heidfeld still remains ahead…

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