Alonso and Piquet Jnr confirmed at Renault for 2009

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jnr will remain at Renault in 2009
Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jnr will remain at Renault in 2009

Fernando Alonso has committed his future to Renault, ending speculation over a possible move to Ferrari in 2009.

Renault has become the seventh team to announce an unchanged line-up for 2009 with Nelson Piquet Jnr remaining alongside Alonso.

Alonso had been linked to Ferrari, BMW and Honda at different stages during the season. But after the first two teams confirmed they would stay with the same drivers for the foreseeable future, Alonso was increasingly expected to stay at Renault.

He has enjoyed an excellent end to the season with the team, winning two of the last four races. He scored 33 points in the final four rounds, 13 more than any other driver (Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa each scored 20).

Piquet has not enjoyed a very successful a season in his first year of F1. He had more non-mechanical DNFs than any other driver (seven) and was the only driver to be out-qualified by his team mate at every round.

Earlier rumours suggested Renault might promote Lucas di Grassi or Romain Grosjean in his place. Piquet’s retention is not going to diminish suggestions that, after 2007, Alonso doesn’t want to share a team with a competitive driver again.

But with Renault clearly enjoying a resurgence, the prospect of Alonso facing down Hamilton and the Ferrari duo for the 2009 championship is an enticing one…

Fernando Alonso biography
Nelson Piquet Jnr biography
2009 F1 drivers and teams
2009 F1 season

49 comments on “Alonso and Piquet Jnr confirmed at Renault for 2009”

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  1. I say Di Grassi for Honda, then.

  2. Yes Alonso had a good end to the season, he is a quality driver. But will he ever drive for ferrari in 2010? Will Ferrari be in F1 in 2010? We will know by the end of this month when engine tenders are confirmed and teams acceptance confirmed (or not as the case maybe)

  3. Yes, so he has agreed to stay put into next year, with all the new developments, but what happens when Renault aren’t as fast as he’d like early in the season, and maybe Nelson learns from his mistakes and gains more confidence?
    Are we going to have yet another year of rumour and accusation?
    I agree that Alonso is a wonderful driver, but I wouldn’t include him in my first choices of team-mate!

  4. Flavio: “Fernando’s commitment for the next two seasons confirms the faith he has in the team and we are delighted to continue working with him.”

    Really, Flavio? Nothing to do with the next berth becomming available at Ferrari in two seasons then?

  5. I can’t believe Piquet has been given another year at Renault. At least we’ve got another season of comedy driving to look forward to…

  6. That picture is hilarious, how many time will we see that next year?
    Piquet ahead of Alonso?


  7. I cant believe they have confirmed piquet after such a dreadful season!!!!! For sure Di Grassi is much better. Anyway GOOOOOO Alonso!!! LoL we r going to win the championship off hamilton next year!

  8. Good for Piquet, although i rate Lucas di Grassi highly, Piquet has earnt his seat for next year with some good performances towards the end.

    His 2nd at Hockenheim correctly shudn’t be mentioned when ‘is he good enough’ because it was down to nothing on his part, just the flukiness of his race egineers who happened to time his strategy right when thinking of a possiple safety car attempt.

    Piquet’s drive for 4th in Fuji i thought was excellent and towards the end his performances were more mature, also he wasn’t mouthing off as much as he did at the start of the season.

    Alonso staying was a no-brainer, regardless of his 2 wins he was staying as he’d be mad to go to Honda who wont do better in the season than Renault next year. Saying that a good season next year and he’ll be at Ferrari sooner than later.

    Now what im wondering is who will be confirmed for STR and Honda. Will Rubens’s still be in the sport, because at 25 Bruno Senna is mature enough to do a decent job. Bourdais and Buemi for STR, fingers crossed!

  9. Not to mention BMW, and who knows, perhaps even Red Bull. 2009 will be very interesting.

    Was it Prost who vetoed Senna’s return to Williams in 1993? Although that’s a bit different from Alonso, if indeed he didn’t want any potential upstarts from challenging him, rather than one specific individual.

  10. What is hilarious for me is notice that this is the first time on Formula 1 history that a driver can keep his seat only because he is a real rubbish.

    Just put Lucas Di Grassi on this car and make Alonso run a little bit for his money, this why motoracing should be about.

  11. I had predicted this one during some of our live blogs.
    With reduced test time Heikki was the last of the lot to get 30000 hrs of test time in car before getting race seat. Doesn’t make sense to loose all the effort put in Nelson getting race experience on all race venues this year and starting from scratch with Digrassi/ Grosjean, who don’t have much testing experience in the “F1 car”

    On a side note – With Reduced test times,it will become more and more difiicult for F1-wannabes sufficient test time in F1 car under their belt. FIA can make some good use of the monies it has collected through random fines on teams and drivers and provide State of Art F1-Simulator for the Aspiring drivers. Benefit of spending thousands of hours in good F1 simulator has been highlighted by career of latest WDC. So F1 simulator access to aspiring driver in various FIA member nations would be good service to racing community . Max Are you listening.

    Williams and McLaren have the best F1 simulators in their factories, maybe they can use it for commercial use. It can help get more “better adapted” drivers to the grid

  12. I think, a wise decision by Renault not promoting Di Grassi to the race seat. They clearly need Alonso to improve the car; and it makes sense for Renault to keep Alonso fan.

    The psychology behind this move seems similar to Mclaren’s last year. Having a weak no.2 in Heikki; just for the sake of stability which was essential after a torrid 2007

  13. I think 7 non-mechanical DNFs is far too much to even keep what is a 2nd driver seat. Renault should give Di Grassi or Grosjean a chance even just for collecting potential constructors points. Or giving the mechanics an easier life. If they are to be serious about contending for either, or both, WDC and WCC again then they need a driver that can at least keep up and not bring it home.

    Not to say Di Grassi and Grosjean would definately do a better job than Piquet as rookies, but I’m not too sure if Piquet is going to do that much better next season…and I don’t think either driver could do much worse.

    Fingers crossed I’m wrong.

  14. curious… did Nelson’s mexican sugar daddy have anything to do with this I wonder?

  15. Sumedh,

    Good point but you must to know Di Grassi´s technical background and curriculum.

    He has a huge experience as test driver. The car from GP2 last season have a good amount of Di Grassi´s input on it and he was invited again to test the car (GP2) to the next season.

    Those invitations from GP2, tells you how this guy could be a interesting tool to Renault.

    For me, Lucas has much more to offer to Renault on this moment than Piquet and considering how they are putting energy on the development of the car to catch the big guys in 2009, I think Lucas would much more worth, working with Alonso, than the mediocre Piquet.

    The only explanation to do not put this guy on the other car is because of an Alonso´s veto.

  16. Excellent news.

    I want to see Di Grassi and Grosjean in F1 but I don’t see any reason to think they’d do better than Piquet.

  17. Becken – Huge Experience as test driver :-?
    As I have mentioned before, Since 2007 Season start the testing miles per year have been reduced drastically as a result, its mostly the race drivers who have been testing to get better understanding of car for race day. Teams really don’t have luxury to use their test drivers as much as they did till 2006 season. In fact reduction in testing has been one main reason why all the race drivers drive so many laps in FP sessions on Friday.

    Those interested can see the stats of Race weekends at F1GPupdate Website

    As I have stated above didn’t make sense to repeat the investment on new driver

  18. The talking point of “Alonso not wanting a competitive teammate” is tired. When it comes to the subject of one Fernando Alonso, it seems that we throw previous history and logic of the sport aside.

    What do you think McLaren did for the future when the team hired Kovalainen as his replacement? And what did that result in? Every driver out there, no doubt about it, wants a teammate slower than himself. If McLaren were to fire Kovalainen and get someone to challenge Hamilton, do you not suspect Hamilton would grow weary and suspicious of his team? I suspect some resentment would follow.

    But yes. Renault’s retaining of Piquet over two potentially talented (but highly unproven) rookies must mean Alonso is merely the master of the puppet team. It must follow.

  19. PS – Well those that have implied that Piquet has been continued since he doesn’t pose threat to Alonso and that Di Grassi/Grojean may prove handful, you really don’t have to do much to mess up with internal rivals like these. If anyone has been following sports for a long, Trulli’s Performance “Suddenly wendt downhill” after he posted first Renault win ahead of Alonso at Monaco’04 and It was Fisico who had mechanical issues, Botched pit-stops after a emphatic drive to victory after dramatic Australian Season opener at 2005.

    Its Heikki who has to qualify in Q3 with Heavy fuel load through-out 2008 and not vice-versa.

    So there are “Subtle” ways of taming the internal rival and Keeping the “lead driver” happy.

    We would all be too much woolly eyed to assume that teams do provide identical equipment and strategy to both drivers (Hamilton was lucky in 2007 since he was driving in his mentors team)

  20. “I can’t believe Piquet has been given another year at Renault. At least we’ve got another season of comedy driving to look forward to…”

    I’m not so sure. I have my problems with Piquet (and I would give the seat to Di Grassi), but during his whole career Piquet had gone for pretty much the same arc:
    1st season on South American F3 – Just ok.
    2st season on South American F3 – Champion.
    1st season on British F3 – Again just ok.
    2st season on British F3 – Champion.
    1st season on GP2 – Just ok.
    2st season on GP2 – Second place (and that’s only because there were a guy named Lewis Hamilton racing against him).

    I’m not claiming he will suddenly start to drive on the same pace as Alonso, but given that his whole career has him underperform as a rookie, but been strong on second season, Renault can hope the same will happen in F1.

    Also, I’m pretty sure the plan for some time now is to debut Grosjean in 2010, so it doesn’t make any sense to give another rookie they didn’t plan to keep a seat and it would be hard to get more experienced drivers (Bourdais, Barrichello) for just one season.

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