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. verstappen said on 2nd August 2009, 20:07

    I guess it’s just undoable for anyone to race alongside drivers like Alonso, Hamilton(?) or Schumi. Those guys just have all their teammates for breakfast and if not, the teammate is championship material himself.
    We will never know, if Piquet is as ‘good’ as Trulli, Fisi, Kovaleinen, Nakajima etc etc

    • Martin said on 2nd August 2009, 23:04

      I believe that Hamilton doesnt care who his teamate is.
      Schumacher cared to a great extent but Alonso absolutely doesnt want anyone who can steal his thunder.
      McLaren ran Lauda and Prost without issues or they hid them. They only had problems when Senna came into the team.
      The same went at Ferrari with Prost and Mansell until the end of the last season.
      But that was a different time with more mature people running the teams and the sport.
      Piquet should have partnered with a different team that wasnt expecting the world out of him as well as thinking they would be championship contenders.

  2. Wesley said on 2nd August 2009, 21:22

    I like this….more seats opening up for Kubica and Heidfeld every day!

  3. dmw said on 3rd August 2009, 1:26

    RG will have a short career. GP2 only has 5-7 decent drivers in it, and Grosjean has not shown he is clearly leading this group. He’s no Hulkenberg. Piquet’s claim to fame has been being second best to Hamilton in that series. That’s simply not a stellar credential in GP2.

    He’s not as good as Kovalainen. KOV always has some kind of set up trouble, graining, whatever, on Sundays, but he qualifies just as well as Hamilton. Rosberg is a similar story. But those guys are fast — and would be winners if they knew how to manage a car.

    Grosjean’s best chance is that Flav can’t find anyone to fill the first chair except for some journeyman when Alonso bounces. He might get to race Sutil or Luizzi, who may match his volume of mistakes.

  4. Faustao said on 3rd August 2009, 2:54

    This news has not been confirmed by no one else and I checked all the Brazilian sites!

  5. nelore said on 3rd August 2009, 3:56

    Piquet Sr, get your own team but do not name the beast “Copersucar”, been there done that and it faaailed

  6. Chris said on 3rd August 2009, 15:25

    It would be great if Piquet Senior started (or bought) a team. He’s been successful in just about everything he has ever done. Is very well connected, too. I have no doubt he could make it work. Might need a better driver than his son, though.

  7. Hakka said on 3rd August 2009, 16:32

    His statement is a pretty interesting read:
    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/77539

    Confirms his departure from Renault among other things.

  8. Chaz said on 3rd August 2009, 17:48

    Nelson has released a statement on his website http://www.npiquet.com/news.asp?NewsID=336

  9. bwells said on 3rd August 2009, 19:31

    I love how he calls Briatore his executioner… quite the flair for the dramatics… I think he pulled his own rope… the bottom line for me… when your drive is on the line and you have the same equipment as Fernando then you go to the press and say “I will beat me teammate”… you better get it done… and again he was slower.. I guess time will tell for who knows what will happen in the future… as much as I didn’t like him at Renault.. I hope that he finds peace with daddy… :)

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