Nelson Piquet Jnr dropped by Renault

Nelson Piquet Jnr's tenure at Renault is at an end

Nelson Piquet Jnr's tenure at Renault is at an end

The Hungarian Grand Prix was Nelson Piquet Jnr’s last start for Renault, according to sources at the team.

His replacement has not been officially confirmed but is expected to be Renault Development driver Romain Grosjean. Piquet’s replacement will either race at Valencia or Spa-Francorchamps, depending on whether the team’s appeal against its ban is successful.

Grosjean, currently second in GP2, drove for the team in one of their allocated straight-line tests this week (Pics on BritsonPole).

As discussed here earlier today, Piquet’s future at the team has been in doubt for some time. Indeed many were surprised when he was given a second season with the team.

He is the second of the rookies of 2008 to be dropped by his team within the space of a month. Fellow 2008 debutante Sebastien Bourdais had his Toro Rosso contract terminated after the German Grand Prix.

Promoting Grosjean would continue Renault’s practice of elevating young drivers to their squad via GP2.

Heikki Kovalainen was the first, being placed in the squad in 2007. After a shaky start he soon began out-performing Giancarlo Fisichella and brilliantly held off Kimi Raikkonen for second in the pouring rain at Fuji. But nonetheless he was dropped to make way for Piquet along with Fernando Alonso.

Piquet who, like Kovalainen, was a GP2 championship runner-up, scored one podium finish last year in somewhat fortuitous circumstances at the Hockenheimring. He insists the gap between himself and Alonso is at least partly explained by his team mate getting better equipment.

Grosjean’s GP2 form has been a little patchy. He won the inaugural GP2 Asia championship with ease but could only manage fourth in the main series last year.

He began this year’s campaign brightly with two wins from the first three races – but he hasn’t been back to the top of the podium since. His heavy crash at Monaco was one of a series of unnecessary incidents which have cost him valuable points.

As Piquet knows well, any such failings are brutally exposed in the cut-throat world of Formula 1.

Read more: Alonso and the Piquet-Renault fall-out

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85 comments on Nelson Piquet Jnr dropped by Renault

  1. _Ben_ said on 2nd August 2009, 10:06

    Which former world champion can renault get in?!

  2. My guess is that the replacement is going to be a no hoper. Alonso would throw his toys out of the pram if he was challenged and Flavio wouldn’t be able to control two good drivers.

  3. Jian said on 2nd August 2009, 10:09

    well they already have Alonso as their foremer WC.

  4. I agree with you Hammad. I don´t expect much from Grosjean,I think Alguersuari is much more competitvive compared to Grosjean.

  5. Kate said on 2nd August 2009, 10:33

    It will probably be Grosjean but if Renault know that Alonso is leaving at the end of this season(does Briatore manage him?) then they could be making way for his replacement. This would be a good move as it would give him 7 races to settle in, learn how the team works and get fully up to speed. Engineers could then develop the 2010 car around this very very particular young man.

  6. sounds like dad and jnr are putting their own F1 team together to give him a ride:


    • That’s him goading people who are coming up with various rumours that the Piquet family is taking over BMW/joining Supernova etc etc.

    • He did only say he did like the name PiquetF1. I told him on friday he should talk to hes father and buy BMW…hahaha ! :P
      It´s a must !! And to day I tryed to push him more, and look for strong brasilian sponsors tomorrow and hurry up !!
      If it be a fiasco they have at least tryed to move on…

  7. The Hungarian Grand Prix was Nelson Piquet Jnr’s last start for Renault, according to sources at the team.

    Keith, whilst I don’t for one minute deny that Piquet has been given the chop at Renault, that paragraph in itself isn’t really concrete evidence that he has, unless you can divulge who these ‘sources’ and or quote them?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd August 2009, 10:57

      It’s one of the age-old questions of reporting, how far you can go into divulging a source and at what point a story becomes a story. My judgement based on what I’ve seen is that this story is accurate.

  8. Nick said on 2nd August 2009, 11:44

    Can’t say I’m surprised – although I thought Piquet Jr was showing some signs of improvement, having actually out-qualified Alonso in Germany.

    Hang on though … could it be that Alonso, whose attitudes towards being out-done by team-mates are well-documented, threw his toys out of the pram as a result of this?

    Not that Piquet Jr’s comments about Flavio B helped his chances of staying in the team in the slightest, mind you.

    I am concerned that Grosjean won’t get a fair chance though, not because of Alonso but because of the testing ban. Depending on when Renault next race, he’ll have no experience of the car.

  9. Andrew White said on 2nd August 2009, 12:04

    I think it’s about time someone else got a go. Piquet’s had his chance and hasn’t been good enough, while there are lots of drivers who haven’t had a chance yet. Good luck to whoever replaces him.

  10. David A said on 2nd August 2009, 12:19

    So, he needed half of Alonso’s points tally. Double Piquet’s tally and you get, well…

  11. Oliver said on 2nd August 2009, 15:31

    That was not the right team for him. Renault has always done things in a different way, focused their development on a single driver, so its no surprise. His mouth has often run faster than his wheels, and was already making excuses before his very first race. STR would have been the right starting environment for him. I remember how worried Piquet senior looked on the German grid. :-(

  12. Martin said on 2nd August 2009, 16:43

    Piquet never had a chance with this team and as long as Alonso is there he would have always had lesser equipment regardless of what the team says. The are all propaganda mouthpieces anyway.
    Alonso is a priemadonna just like Senna was(he ruined Derrick Warrick career), he cannot stand having a teamate that is remotely competitive and on top of that Briatore will kiss Alonso’s butt to give it to him.
    If Grosjean starts being competitive with the Renault watch what happens, they will submarine him just to satisfy Alonso.
    Piquet maay have wanted a F1 seat and may deserve it, he hust has poor choice in managers and teams to sign up with. If he had been with a lesser team he would be fine right now.

  13. Carl 27 said on 2nd August 2009, 17:46

    I don’t think Alonso will care if his new team mate is competitive, if next year he is in a Ferrari. By the way, Does anyone know what’s going to happen with Heikki next year? will he still be at McLaren?

  14. Gman said on 2nd August 2009, 17:49

    Tough situation from the start, as it was always going to be the Alonso show. But I do wonder if anyone else could have gotten better out of the car than Piquet did. Guess we’ll just need to see what Grosjean has up his sleeve.

  15. Steve k said on 2nd August 2009, 18:13

    Has Bruno senna know the phrase “out of site-out of mind”? Enjoy sports car racing Bruno.

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