Alonso and the Piquet-Renault fall-out

Piquet gets his annual quota of attention from Briatore in a single glance

Piquet gets his annual quota of attention from Briatore in a single glance

Nelson Piquet Jnr looks increasingly unlikely to finish the season with Renault. Rumours have intensified since the Hungarian Grand Prix that he will be replaced at the team by Romain Grosjean.

And details have emerged of a row between Renault boss Flavio Briatore, the driver, and his three-times champion father:

Flavio is a business man, but he doesn’t understand s*** about F1. He’s my manager, but in his role of team boss he doesn’t respect me. He only thinks about money, at how much money he can pocket in everything he’s involved, he’s a man with no friends.
Nelson Piquet Jnr

When a driver lacks results, he opens the book of excuses and begins: the fault is the weather’s, a spectator’s sunglasses, a spin on the straight, this and that. It’s not true that there’s a technical difference of seven tenths between Alonso’s and Piquet’s car. If that was true, we’d have a car capable of winning the title, and that unfortunately isn’t the case. The technical difference has always been minimal and never longer than one race.
Flavio Briatore

The argument centres on whether Renault gave Piquet a serious chance to impress in F1. The Piquet camp claim Renault never gave him sufficiently up-to-date equipment to compete with Fernando Alonso.

We all know that as long as there has been F1 there have been arguments like this. The pace of development is so hot that teams are often unable to construct enough of their newest gizmos to adequately furnish both drivers.

For example, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton got first dibs on McLaren’s new floor assembly at the Nurburgring which provided a massive step forward in performance. Heikki Kovalainen had to make do without, but both had the new parts at the Hungaroring.

In some ways, Renault’s problem this season is the flip side of what McLaren experienced in 2007, when it tried to pair Alonso and Hamilton together, with explosive results.

McLaren found themselves dealing with a fuming Alonso who did not expect Hamilton to be quite as good as he was. Renault chose a different path – picking a driver who posed little threat to Alonso. How far each team allowed those drivers to give Alonso a run for his money is open to debate.

Renault has kept Alonso happy but Piquet clearly isn’t. And you have to wonder how many points the team has missed in the past year and a half by not having a more capable (and perhaps better equipped) driver in the second car.

Piquet may feel vexed that his career has been sacrificed to massage Alonso’s ego, but did anybody honestly expect anything different?

It seems increasingly the case that if you have Fernando Alonso in your team, either he will be content or his team mate will, but not both.

Alonso’s future move to Ferrari may be F1′s worst-kept secret. But how will they solve the problem of who to put in the other car?

They may well decide mollycoddling Alonso with a weak team mate is no better solution than pairing him with someone more challenging.

Read more

Alonso may have a tougher team mate next year - or next race

Alonso may have a tougher team mate next year - or next race

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88 comments on Alonso and the Piquet-Renault fall-out

  1. Not having identical cars for team mates seems like a good way to breed a feeling of favouritism for one driver over the other, which is not good for the team. Not only must Nelson Piquet Jnr feel like he is the one missing out, but all the mechanics, engineers and support staff on his side of the garage must also feel like they are missing out, and are probably wishing that they were on the “favoured” side of the garage. All that can’t be good for team motivation.

    It’s poor management really, having non-identical cars turning up to race weekends. They should be really be managing resources back in the factory better to ensure that enough parts are available for both cars.

    • I think your missing the point that the speed of development can be so fast that teams simply don’t often have the resources to produce two identical cars in time for the race. Therefore the question becomes do they sit on a development that might for example give them a shot at a podium for the sake of equality or do they give it to the driver they think will use it best a get them that podium? Remember it is a competitive sport in which teams have a responsibility to their sponsors etc.

      If Piquet was a better driver on days when they had the same equipment then he might have had a shot with the new developments but basically he’s just not that good compared to Alonso, that’s his real problem. He’s probably one of the weakest drivers on the grid and if his name wasn’t Piquet he probably wouldn’t be there.

      • It takes the same amount of time for engineers to design new parts for either one or two cars. So it comes down to resources to manufacture the new parts.

        If resources are deficient to make two sets of parts in time, then obviously the team need to increase those resources to be able manufacture the enough parts for both cars concurrently. Given there is no budget gap, this should be possible. This could be done by buying additional manufacturing equipment and employing additional operators to operate the machinery, or out source the manufacturing to a firm that has enough resources to build two sets of parts in time.

        The best way to fairly decide which driver is better, is for the team to provide both drivers with identical competitive cars. It also gives the team the best chance of maximising constructors points.

        I don’t really care which one is the better driver, I just think they should have an equal car, and hence equal opportunity at all races.

        • dsob said on 1st August 2009, 16:09

          It’s true the design of new parts takes a finite amount of time, regardless of whether it goes on one or two or seventeen cars.

          This could be done by buying additional manufacturing equipment and employing additional operators to operate the machinery, or out source the manufacturing to a firm

          But the manufacture of these parts, to unbelieveably strict tolerances, is a thing for skilled craftsmen and tool & die makers. It isn’t something a F1 team can outsource to just any machine shop.

          Buy more equipment, enlarge the shop, hire more people…yes, and when there are no new parts to be produced, you are paying for things you don’t need, which isn’t good for the budget.

          The best way to fairly decide which driver is better, is for the team to provide both drivers with identical competitive cars.

          In a perfect world, all cars and all drivers would be equal-but think how boring that woukd be. But more to the point, nothing is ever going to be equal-no car, no driver abilities.

          So if I’m an owner, and my operation can get me only one set of upgrades in time for race day, then you can bet your bottom dollar the upgrades go to the #1 driver. And let’s be serious, at Renault, Alonso is the #1 driver. I don’t care if you put Piquet in Alonso’s car-he still won’t perform as well.

          So Piquet needs to stop belly-aching as though he is a 5-time /WDC that’s getting the short end. He’s a kid that isn’t as good as his team-mate, and that’s the end of the story.

          • mp4-19b said on 1st August 2009, 16:19

            salutations to you for pointing out that formula 1 is a tough sport, especially for the engineers. it is an engineer’s ultimate test.

        • Oliver said on 1st August 2009, 21:43

          Designing new parts is the easiest part of the equation. Manufacturing those new parts is where the problem exists in. Carbon fiber needs to go into autoclaves and pressure chambers and blah blah. A single component may need about a week or 3weeks to manufacture.If they are using a scaled wind tunnel, they then have to redo the part at full scale. Then it has to be verified, on track to ensure the new part corroborates with the figures they got in the wind tunnel. If it doesn’t work, they chuck it. There is no point and no time in making 2 identical parts that might end up being discarded immediately.

          If they were parts to improve reliability, the engineers will know of the existing problem and design a fix that might work better than before, but not necessarily with the optimum reliability. However, they will certainly know the new part will be better than the old, so they can make for both cars immediately. In the case of parts for performance, these are parts that probably change very often, the engineers are groping in the dark, they have ideas but not all the answers, if they had all the answers, they will design a car that will not need any updates.

          • If parts take that long to manufacture then I suppose they need to be innovative and look at faster ways to manufacture new parts. Formula 1 is about innovation is it not. Innovation is one of the reasons car manufacturers such as Renault are even involved, the F1 team is like a Research and Development lab for the company, and no doubt the company would be hoping that aspects of innovation from the F1 team at some stage in the future can translate to improved road cars.

      • Martin said on 3rd August 2009, 1:53

        It was never a problem during other years of racing. You never heard other drivers complaining of this before the Alonso yrs at McLaren and since then it is now becoming the way you keep your no.2 there and your no,1 happy. it would be different if they were develpoing the cars in two different packages to see which one was best, but to give 1 driver the new pieces and let the other faulter is just wrong and breeds contempt.
        This seem to now be what some of the F1 teams are about.

  2. TommyB said on 1st August 2009, 11:51

    Funny how Piquet goes on about Flavio only thinking about money. If he didn’t think about money Nelson would have been out of F1 a long long LONG time ago

  3. Correction is in order I think: “Hamilton got first dibs on McLaren’s new floor assembly at the Nurburgring which provided a massive step forward in performance. Heikki Kovalainen had to make do without, but both had the new parts at the Nurburgring.”

    Surely it’s not supposed Nurburgring twice, but Hungaroring at the end?

  4. Woffin said on 1st August 2009, 11:55

    When yo mentioned the new McLaren floor you said that Hamilton had it in Nurburgring and then both had it in Nurburgring. Shouldnt that read Hungaroring? :)

    Apart from that, excellent read as always! This site is now my first stop for F1 info.

    Also btw, a personal question Keith if I may. For the Friday at Silverstone, did you go to a Tesco in Buckinghamshire for breakfast? I thought I saw someone that looked like you in the queue but I wasn’t quite sure haha.

  5. BNK Racing said on 1st August 2009, 12:03

    Lewis Hamilton got first dibs on McLaren’s new floor assembly at the Nurburgring which provided a massive step forward in performance. Heikki Kovalainen had to make do without, but both had the new parts at the Nurburgring.

    the hungarian it should be.
    but what i think alonso needs is not as much as an inferior team mate but an experienced team mate. i think he just has no respect for the younger drivers whether they do good or bad. ie. lewis and nelson. i think he would be less critical of a team mate who can place in the points more often, but also not viewed as an emerging talent that could threaten his position within the team (like how lewis out shone him)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st August 2009, 12:10

      I don’t think there’s any reason to suppose the young/old thing is true. He just doesn’t like getting beaten (nothing wrong with that, of course). On the few occasions Fisichella (several years Alonso’s senior) beat him, he wasn’t too happy either and was at pains to point out why it had happened.

      • BNK Racing said on 1st August 2009, 12:26

        well there goes my theory out the window lol. he just has a enormous ego then if thats the case. im actually surprised we havent heard that much from him in regards to the team’s performance. maybe he has it bottled up inside and once he switches to ferrari he will explode! (in race performance that is) lol

        • he just has a enormous ego then

          He’s an F1 driver what do you expect.

        • dsob said on 1st August 2009, 16:15

          Enormous ego and hates to lose.

          Good qualities in a driver, far as I’m concerned. That enormous ego and disgust at losing is going to make the racecar go faster than I ever designed it to go.

          I’d hire that driver any day of the week.

          • mp4-19b said on 1st August 2009, 16:23

            who is the most egoistic driver dsob? for me it was mansell :)

          • dsob said on 1st August 2009, 16:35

            Ran out of “Reply” links, lol.
            This is to mp4

            There is a difference between ego and egotistical.

            If one acts as though one can do something, and falls short, folks see that as conceited. If one actually delivers, folks see that one was not conceited, but convinced.

            There is a difference between ego and egotistical.

            Drivers like Senna, Prost, Fangio, Moss–they had HUGE egos. That’s part of what allowed then to do what they did. They simply never thought that they could fail.

            There is a difference between ego and egotistical.

      • That is true. However, I do think it is possible to get a better compromise at Renault than is currently the case…

  6. Kimster said on 1st August 2009, 12:29

    In Hungary they gave both the same car but Alonso managed to get on pole and Piquet got 15th on the grid.
    Now u have to ask urself how come Alonso can go faster?
    Its very very easy, they give Piquet 30kilo more fuel and then they blame him for being too slow in the car ;)

    So in my opinion they never gave Piquet a fair chance.

    They are both equal but Alonso a bit more :D

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st August 2009, 12:37

      They would have had to do that in Q2, which would make no sense unless you believe it’s a conspiracy. Can’t imagine the mechanics on Piquet’s car would have been too impressed about it, though.

    • Keith is right, face it Piquet is just not that hot, he’s in F1 because his name is attractive to sponsors for obvious reasons.

      • mp4-19b said on 1st August 2009, 14:40

        These second generation drivers are upto no good. They are all hanging by their surnames.
        Wouldn’t be surprised if Bruno goes the same way. Pity these guys, maybe piquet jr has been forced to take up driving as a career, while his interests lay somewhere else. maybe he’s better off being a fashion model or something.

        • Spud said on 1st August 2009, 15:31

          I agree totally… for once.

          F1 drivers should not be in F1 just because of a name, or sponsors or anything else.

          If they are talented, fair enough, otherwise its a waste of time IMO.

        • Max should resign now!!! said on 1st August 2009, 16:30

          Nico Rosberg is quite good though…

          • Ace said on 2nd August 2009, 0:14

            Is he though? Really?
            He’s only ever had one competitive teammate, who wiped the floor with him…

            A discussion for another time and place though I guess.

  7. Hakka said on 1st August 2009, 12:33

    Re: Alonso’s move to Ferrari.

    I think Massa has a deservedly favored spot in Ferrari now – they see him as family, and his temperament and personality gel with the team’s Italian heritage. There is simply no way he or his side of the engineering team will play second fiddle to Alonso when he does move to Ferrari.

    With Santander coming in, however, there may be corporate pressure brought to bear to keep Alonso happy. Montezemolo had already mentioned that Alonso and Raikkonen would probably be a bad pairing – this was before the emergence of Massa as an equal or even superior talent. I can’t imagine any reason Massa will be willing to play the second driver anymore.

    Another explosive pairing coming up, me thinks.

    • Alex Bkk said on 1st August 2009, 12:53

      If what we want to see is competitive racing then a Kimi and Alonoso pairing would be brilliant! Kimi is immune to pressure.I think Fred would play head games with Massa till he ended up like Rubens, a whinger with no title.

      • dsob said on 1st August 2009, 16:25

        Don’t hold your breath for an Alonso/Kimi pairing.

        Ferrari has made it blatantly clear that Massa’s seat is waiting for him, soon as he is medically cleared.

        And I think Massa can handle Alonso. Matter of fact, Alonso might even find out how Piquet feels, lol.

        • mp4-19b said on 1st August 2009, 16:31

          & massa is very good at spanish too!! especially at hurling abuses! we all saw that in nurburgring 2007! alonso better be careful with massa :)

          • Silver Fox said on 22nd September 2009, 5:53

            Actually, both Massa and Alonso were yelling at one another in Spanish that day after the race in the Nurburgring in 2007. It was quite fun to watch (actually, to listen). For the record, I speak both Spanish and Italian. It would not be hard to confuse the two if you’re not familiar with them.

          • Silver Fox said on 22nd September 2009, 5:56

            Okay, this is embarrassing, but my first reply made no sense. I meant to say that Massa and Alonso were yelling at one another in *Italian*, not Spanish. Sorry for the confusion. My reply should have read as follows:

            Actually, both Massa and Alonso were yelling at one another in Italian that day after the race in the Nurburgring in 2007. It was quite fun to watch (actually, to listen). For the record, I speak both Spanish and Italian. It would not be hard to confuse the two if you’re not familiar with them.

        • Martin said on 3rd August 2009, 2:01

          I would find nothing better than Massa outperforming Alonso if they are the pair next yr.
          I would rather Ferrari not bring Alonso in and leave him and his arrogence with Renault.
          I would love to see him back at McLaren with Hamilton spanking him on a regular basis.

  8. Sush Meerkat said on 1st August 2009, 12:40

    He only thinks about money, at how much money he can pocket in everything he’s involved, he’s a man with no friends.

    Spoken like a true millianaire’s “heir to the throne”, someone whose never had to worry about money.

    So Nelsinho, what’s your view on the Turks not attending Istanbul because its too expensive
    “F1 fans only care about their money, they have no friends”
    Thanks Nelsinho, over to Ted Kravitz with the weather.

  9. Tiomkin said on 1st August 2009, 12:43

    Why would an F1 team throw points in the constructor’s championship to play games with their drivers?

    Answer: They wouldn’t. Some drivers are better than other drivers. It is part of being Human. Each being is unique.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st August 2009, 12:52

      If you’re saying Renault have got the best two driver available to them in the form of Alonso and Piquet, then I don’t agree.

      • I think Tiomkin is saying it’s not a conspiracy and that Alonso is just better than Piquet.

        • mp4-19b said on 1st August 2009, 14:45

          i also feel nakajima jr is as bad as piquet jr. williams must switch to mercedes, which is more powerful,reliable & fuel efficient. By doing so it will not be obligatory for them to have nakajima jr anymore.

          • Sush Meerkat said on 1st August 2009, 15:03

            williams must switch to mercedes, which is more powerful,reliable & fuel efficient.

            We will see at Valencia about that one, its a power dependant track, if the Red Bulls get up top, Renault’s engine is tasty.

      • Tiomkin said on 1st August 2009, 15:37

        How on earth do you jump to that conclusion from what I wrote? Are you on drugs?

        Why would an F1 team throw points in the constructor’s championship to play games with their drivers?

        Answer: They wouldn’t. Some drivers are better than other drivers. It is part of being Human. Each being is unique.

        Referring to ALONSO outperforming his team mate, Maybe because he is a superior driver? Not because the team favour him.

        If points mean prizes (money in the future) why would any team choose to lose points?

        Thanks K for understanding what I wrote.

      • dsob said on 1st August 2009, 17:05

        It just begs the question. And since no one else asked, I will. I can resist anything but temptation. :)

        Would you replace one ? Or Both ? And why ?

  10. Carl 27 said on 1st August 2009, 13:23

    Just wanted to point out that Alonso is the only double Champion on the grid and consider one of the best drivers in it. So, I think even if Piquet had equal equipment, I don’y think he could match him. Certaintly Nelsinho is not Lewis!

  11. HounslowBusGarage said on 1st August 2009, 13:31

    Is there a testing aspect to this?
    With no between race etsting allowed, the only way to evaluate new parts is to put them on one car and not on the other one, isn’t it?
    But apart from that, I think I can detect a bit of Piquet Senior’s criticism in Junior’s words.

    • Hakka said on 1st August 2009, 13:43

      It’s not the only way. Any given driver could run the old part in FP1 and then test the new part in FP2 & FP3, so you’d still have a control.

  12. F1Outsider said on 1st August 2009, 14:20

    First they need to bring back testing.

    Then they need to give Piquet the Felipe Massa treatment… Let him serve a year or two under aprenticeship as a test driver for an oldschool team like Williams or Ferrari and then bring him back.

    • mp4-19b said on 1st August 2009, 14:49

      He was a full time test driver for renault back in 2007. clearly that stint doesn’t seemed to have helped him. i fear piquet’s time in f1 is over, unless his father starts his own team :)

  13. mp4-19b said on 1st August 2009, 14:33

    I think it was inappropriate for piquet to have criticized flavio in the manner he did. if one goes back to 2007, alonso never did the same to ron while he was being trashed by hamilton.even after his departure from mclaren, he’s always maintained that they were always fair to him. In fact mclaren had to build him an entirely different braking system for monza, a race he won of course. The problem with Piquet jr is, i’m sorry to say this but forced to, he has not inherited any of his father’s racing skills :( . even in gp2 he was made to look ordinary by hamilton. poor guy i do pity him, i think he needs to have a break & reassess his career, maybe even go back to gp2 & win some races. This public spat will serve no purpose. he is still young & has plenty of time to make a successful comeback, especially with the financial backing that he has. I dunno how piquet sr is letting all this happen. He of all the people must know that his son is mediocre. Piquet jr must immediately resign, he mustn’t dishonour

  14. It’s virtually impossible to know beyond doubt whether or not Piquet has been given the same specification of car at every race. And besides, there are plenty of other ways a driver could be disadvantaged relative to his team mate.

    Piquet is not an awful racing driver – you don’t win the British F3 championship or challenge for the title in GP2 without having at least some ability.

    But Nelson Jr spent a reasonable amount of time in both categories before stepping up – he raced in SudAm F3 before coming to the UK, and there was at least one controversial incident where he circumvented the SudAm testing ban by using what was effectively an F3 chassis with enclosed wheels. Likewise, his British F3 and GP2 campaigns were well funded and that never hurts.

    Some drivers get into a new category and they just go, others take longer to adapt to a different style of driving. Piquet strikes me as the latter, and his good performances in F3 and GP2 may have masked that.

    The step up to F1 is tricky for anyone. Despite his having plenty of testing opportunities, Renault’s last two F1 machines haven’t been hugely impressive. They haven’t appeared to have been hugely easy to drive either. The team’s energies are also likely to have been focused on making Alonso happy. Unsurprisingly, that has left Piquet somewhat out in the cold.

    Lewis Hamilton had the good fortune to have his debut coincide with a user friendly McLaren – a year earlier or later and things may have been different. That’s not to understate Lewis’ talent, but having a generally fast and user friendly car always helps a driver to find his feet more quickly – especially in a team that has the will and resources to field two equal cars.

    Piquet, by contrast, made his debut in a difficult car run by a team whose boss doesn’t suffer excuses – even if they’re correct. Had Nelson been an exceptional driver he may have coped better – but he’s merely a good driver.

    The obvious historical precedent is the 1986 Lotus line up. Ayrton Senna blocked the recruitment of Derek Warwick because he didn’t want the team to divide its meager resources between two competitive drivers. Lotus recruited rookie Johnny Dumfries instead, who was merely good.

    • dsob said on 1st August 2009, 16:54

      Well, see, this whole thing about same spec at every race, or not, is just *****. Really.

      I have one set of upgrades, for reasons I’ve outlined earlier in this section. Now, do I put them on the #2 driver, an inexperienced youngster that will give me less than comprehensive feedback, or put them on the #1 driver, who can really give me good intel on the effectiveness of the upgrade, and still have a shot at bringing home a decent finish if the whole upgrade turns out to be *****?

      For me, this is a no-brainer. And until Piquet has 2 WDC, he needs to stop mewling about his stuff not being equal to Alosnso’s and just lay down and rest his neck.

      And no excuse is ever good, it’s just an excuse. And even if he started on a heavier fuel load, blah, blah, blah, blah(thanks Ruby), it’s still all an excuse.

      Renault/Flavio isn’t slagging him for not beating Alonso, but for not driving up to his expectations with what he had !

      Bloody crybaby.

    • Patrickl said on 1st August 2009, 17:31

      Piquet has been 7 tenths and up to a second slower at just about every race.

      The point is that it is impossible that this is caused by the upgrades that Piquet might have lacked. Those would at best have mattered 2 or 3 tenths in the few cases where Alonso got his upgrade a race earlier.

      Going back to old situations is useless too. Nowadays teams are rich enough to have two equal cars. Only minor differences will exist.

      Back then they had budgets that even compared to the budget cap would have been puny. Of course they would need to divide their resources.

      Piquet didn’t perform really well in GP2. He was beaten by a rookie while Piquet came 8th in his rookie year. Besides, Piquet trained with Formula Renault cars to circumvent the GP2 testlimits.

      Piquet just doesn’t adapt quickly enough. He was whining that he wasn’t allowed to practise his qualifying. So one weekend they let him do a lot of qualifying simulations. Indeed he was closer than ever to Alonso. Unfortunately he was then utterly useless in the race.

      If Piquet had twice the time to get ready for a race he might perform better. Obviously he doesn’t have that luxury and he never will. Besides, then others would probably go faster too.

      • Going back to old situations is useless too. Nowadays teams are rich enough to have two equal cars. Only minor differences will exist.

        Back then they had budgets that even compared to the budget cap would have been puny. Of course they would need to divide their resources.

        And yet McLaren, one of the best resourced teams of 2009, could only provide a new floor for one driver at the German GP and so had to divide their resources…

        I can’t agree with your assumption about all teams now having enough cash to produce two equal cars is wrong. Budgets may have been lower in the past but so were costs – F1 has always been about cutting edge technology and that costs money. Even the best funded teams of 2009 could easily find ways of spending more money than they already have.

        Lotus was always notorious for never being able to field two entirely equal cars – Jackie Stewart has often observed that the Lotus number two driver never really did anything of note, which was why he turned down an offer to be Jim Clarke’s team mate.

        Besides, turning out two cars of equal specification is not the only factor in drivers both having an equal opportunity to succeed.

        Drivers all have different preferences and, if team mates have conflicting preferences, car development will often go in favour of the stronger driver. In the Schumacher era, Ferraris were developed around him – if Irvine or Barrichello were able to live with the car then that was merely an added bonus. Other drivers found Schumacher era Benettons tricky to drive on the limit – I can recall the likes of Alesi and Berger struggling to adapt to cars developed for Schumacher when they switched teams for 1996.

        At Renault, Alonso calls the shots when it comes to how the car is developed – nothing wrong with that, he’s the team’s best chance of success. But if Piquet’s driving style needs something different he may well not get it. Fact of life, and if Piquet were an exceptional driver he’d be able to cope better – but he’s merely good.

        There are other ways a driver could be disadvantaged whilst having an identical car – lack of access to data, not having an engineer he clicks with, having less testing time, etc. The possibilities are almost endless. I don’t know whether any or all of these apply to Piquet, but they could.

        My point about Piquet taking longer to adapt was about adapting to new categories – some drivers take longer to find their feet in F1, only a select few arrive as fully formed F1 drivers. I also disagree with your view of Piquet’s GP2 record – eighth in year one and second in year two is better than many GP2 drivers manage.

        • Patrickl said on 2nd August 2009, 11:22

          Yes, thats why I added: “Only minor differences will exist”. Hamilton had the floor one race earlier. Kovalainen did have a new front wing though.

          In the times of Senna at Lotus they really had money for one car only.

          Even in the times of Schumacher at Benneton they had only money for one good car. Schumachers car was far better than the second one.

          Wether the car does or does not suit Piquet’s style has never come up. To be honest I doubt he has the skill to even know if that’s the problem.

          On the other hand, Piquet (or rather his dad) do keep on implying that Piquet is humiliated by Alonso simply because Piquet sometimes gets an update a race later.

          Piquet did better in GP2 because he could get extra testing in a WSR car. Which explains exactly why he failed in F1. He simply needs too much time and there is no such luxury in F1 (even his dad cannot afford that).

          Only the champions in GP2 are F1 material and even those not always. It’s really only the guys that become champion in their first season which are the ones that will go on to impress. The others are at best good as field fillers.

  15. Brian said on 1st August 2009, 15:59

    Crap. You know what this means don’t you? It means that us North Americans are gonna end up getting stuck with Picket Jr. racing Indy Cars. I bet Bourdais will end up coming back here too.
    Just what indy car needs, another two complaining drivers.

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