Piquet’s scathing attack on Briatore

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Nelson Piquet Jnr has hit out at Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatoret
Nelson Piquet Jnr has hit out at Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore

As first reported here on Saturday, Nelson Piquet Jnr has been dropped by Renault.

And a statement from the Brazilian today gives insight into the simmering resentment between him and team boss Flavio Briatore.

We discussed the Renault situation last week and there was some disagreement over whether Briatore had compromised Piquet in trying to keep Alonso happy. Has Piquet got a point or, as Briatore alleged, is this just him reciting from the drivers’ book of excuses?

I have received notice from the Renault F1 team of its intention to stop me from driving for them in the current F1 season. I want to say thanks to the small group who supported me and that I worked together at Renault F1, although it is obviously with great disappointment that I receive such news. But, at the same time, I feel a sense of relief for the end of the worst period of my career, and the possibility that I can now move on and put my career back on the right track and try to recover my reputation of a fast, winning driver. I am a team player and there are dozens of people I have worked with in my career who would vouch for my character and talent, except unfortunately the person that has had the most influence on my career in Formula 1.

I started racing at the age of eight and have broken record after record. I won every championship I raced in go-karts. I was South American F3 champion, winning 14 races and getting 17 pole positions. In 2003 I went to England, with my own team, to compete in the British F3 championship. I was champion there as well, winning 12 races and getting 13 pole positions. In fact I was the youngest ever champion. I raced GP2 in 2005 and 2006, winning five races and scoring six pole positions. I had a great season in my second year, only missing out on the championship to Lewis Hamilton due to technical mistakes of our team, which I take as my own as well, including running out of fuel during a race. I set the record in GP2 for the first driver to have a perfect weekend, scoring the maximum points available, in Hungary 2006. No-one matched that until July 2009 when Nico Hulkenberg did in at Nurburgring.

The path to F1 was always going to be tricky, and my father and I therefore signed a management contract with Flavio Briatore, who we believed was an excellent option with all the necessary contacts and management skills. Unfortunately, that was when the black period of my career started. I spent one year as a test driver, where I only did a handful of tests, and the next year started as a race driver with Renault. After the opening part of the season, some strange situations began to happen. As a beginner in F1, I could only expect from my team a lot of support and preparation to help me in getting up to the task. Instead, I was relegated as “someone who drives the other car” with no attention at all. In addition, on numerous occasions, fifteen minutes before qualifying and races, my manager and team boss (Briatore) would threaten me, telling me if I didn’t get a good result, he had another driver ready to put in my place. I have never needed threats before to get results. In 2008 I scored 19 points, finished once on the podium in second place, having the best debut year of a Brazilian driver in F1.

For the 2009 season Briatore, again acting both as my manager and team boss of Renault F1, promised me everything would be different, that I would get the attention I deserved but had never received, and that I would get “at least equal treatment” inside the team. He made me sign a performance-based contract, requiring me to score 40% of Fernando Alonso’s points by mid-way through the season. Despite driving with Fernando, two-time world champion and a really excellent driver, I was confident that, if I had the same conditions, I would easily attain the 40% of points required by the contract.

Unfortunately, the promises didn’t turn into reality again. With the new car I completed 2002km of testing compared to Fernando’s 3839km. Only three days of my testing was in dry weather – only one of Fernando’s was wet. I was only testing with a heavy car, hard tyres, mostly on the first day (when the track is slow and reliability is poor), or when the weather was bad. Fernando was driving a light car with soft tyres in the dry, fine conditions. I never had a chance to be prepared for the qualifying system we use. In Formula 1 today, the difference between 1st and 15th position is sometimes less than a second. It means that 0.2 or 0.3s can make you gain eight positions.

In addition to that, car development is now happening on a race-to-race basis due to the in season testing ban. Of the first nine races that I ran this year, in four of them Fernando had a significant car upgrade that I did not have. I was informed by the engineers at Renault that in those races I had a car that was between 0.5 and 0.8s a lap slower than my teammate. If I look at Germany (where I out-qualified my teammate despite that), if I had that advantage in qualifying I would be fifth and not tenth. If we had that difference in the race, I would have finished ahead of my teammate, which I did in Silverstone, despite him having upgrades that I did not have.

I believe without doubt in my talent and my performance. I didn’t get this far by getting bad results. Anyone who knows my history knows that the results I am having in F1 do not match my CV and my ability. The conditions I have had to deal with during the last two years have been very strange to say the least ?ǣ there are incidents that I can hardly believe occurred myself. If I now need to give explanations, I am certain it is because of the unfair situation I have been in the past two years. I always believed that having a manager was being a part of a team and having a partner. A manager is supposed to encourage you, support you, and provide you with opportunities. In my case it was the opposite. Flavio Briatore was my executioner.

Being under pressure is not new to me. I have had criticism throughout my career, and have also had a lot of expectations put on me due to my name. Up until now I always met those expectations ?ǣ surpassed them even. I have never before felt the need to defend myself or fight back from rumours and criticism because I knew the truth and I just wanted to concentrate on racing ?ǣ I didn’t ever let it affect me. Fortunately, I can now say to those people who supported me through my career that I’m back on the good tracks and considering the options for a new start in my F1 career in a fair and positive way.

I’m on Sky News tonight (Monday) at 7pm talking about Felipe Massa and his replacement Michael Schumacher.

155 comments on “Piquet’s scathing attack on Briatore”

  1. piquet needs to hire PR people because his tweets and messages like this will not win him many friends in the tight-knit world of F1

    1. further to that, these types of retrospectives are better written by a third-party, so they aren’t as self-serving. he should have had a team feed it to a journalist (as a writer myself i know how this scheit works)

      1. He did well to quote himself. Some journalists are able to arrive at a different conclusion from a driver’s statement. PlanetF1 might report it as, **Piquet threatens Flavio’s family**, then after reading it you’ll find that piquet is maybe quoated as saying **I’ll like to thank Flavio and the Renualt team for the opportunity they gave me**, and reading deeper you might find a report saying all their families met to have a pleasant dinner together.

        As for news of the world, their article might be like, **Piquet straps Flavio to a chair and pees on him.**

      2. I forgot to ask what team you want to feed it to the press.

    2. “In addition, on numerous occasions, fifteen minutes before qualifying and races, my manager and team boss (Briatore) would threaten me, telling me if I didn’t get a good result, he had another driver ready to put in my place.”

      Briatore rocks. thats my takeaway from that.

      can’t handle pressure little nelson? its what the rest of us deal with every day of our lives

    3. I would rather have someone who spoke out on injustices than just kept schtum. Why should he just walk away with his tail between his legs than give his side of the story? Whether you side with him or not, he is entitled to tell his story.

      1. fair enough, but it is entirely self-serving

        think about this: if piquet never raced in F1 again, will we be talking about in him 20 years as the driver who would have been the next Senna but never got the opportunity?

        that is how he is presenting it..

        1. Good analysis on that one :)

      2. Yet when Alonso spoke out at McLaren he was “throwing his toys out of the pram.” Explain.

        1. Williams 4ever
          5th August 2009, 3:48

          Yet when Alonso spoke out at McLaren he was “throwing his toys out of the pram.” Explain.

          Well Said Red :D. When Alonso at McLaren expected to be treated like Double WDC, Everyone wanted McLaren to Let their drivers race freely with each other. On the other hand when McLaren compromises Heikki’s races on equipment and strategy. British Crowd justify that as “Its obvious for McLaren to put their bets on WDC”. Do we need any more proof of Double Standards by the team and fans

  2. I fell sorry for nelsinho. I agree that he hasn’t had chance to perform to the best of his ability. In GP2 he was nearly as awesome as hamilton. I think he needed to find his feet without being under pressure, under pressure under-experienced drivers push to hard and make mistakes. He needs to find his feet without the pressure and then he will be able to take it.

    The precision and skill required to drive a f1 car is beyond my imagination. Doing that for the first time with all the pressure in the world on you and trying to concentrate at the same time has got to be near-impossible.

    When Lewis Hamilton joined McLaren there was absolutely no pressure on him, he took it easy and then started matching and beating alonso, because he was allowed to do so. This in turn created a massive boost of confidence for him. Nelsinho, on the other hand, has not had an oppurtunity ti gain any confidence. The little falsh of confidence he had last season after getting his lucky podium in germany made him beat Alonso twice in a row in the following races before the pressure came back again.

    I, for one, would like to see him in F1 again, with a fair chance. I hope Mr Piquet Snr manages to buy BMW because it will kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

    My opinion may be slightly biased, but Fernando Alonso ruined my opinion of him when he went to McLaren. Brilliant driver that he is, he is a terrible person.

    1. Totally agree. I hope to see Piquet in a team that gives him support and equal equipment, then and only then will we see how he is compared to his teammate.

      All those who are saying good riddance and that he never proved himself, etc, did you not read how he was given equipment up to .8 second slower than Alonso and nasty treatment by Briatore. How the hell could he prove himself with such comtemptuous behaviour showed to him?

      He always seemed so sad and now we know why.

      1. Also I never listen to a word that comes of of Flavio Briatore’s mouth, he is the most full of s*** person I ever heard in my life!

    2. There was no pressure on Piquet when he started either. The presure started after he failed for 15 races in a row.

      It’s amazing that he kept going for 27 failures before Briatore finally had enough.

    3. @djdavep,
      Contrary to your opinion, I believe Hamilton was even under more pressure than Piquet. There was great expectations from the team, there were millions of eyes trained on him from all over the world, waiting to spot the smallest of mistakes. I even recall one post here, where are guy mentioned the fact Hamilton had 2wheels on the grass/sand at a single corner on a single lap out of the odd 60 or so laps he did in Melbourne, as if it was some monumental error worthy of him losing his race sit. Oddly that individual failed to notice that Kimi, who was leading the race and later went on to win it, under no pressure whatsoever missed his braking point, and had to brake awkwardly to avoid running into the gravel trap, yet Kimi had years of experience in F1, but he was the one making the rookie error.

      The fact Flavio always tried to rattle him gives me the impression that he wasn’t their original pick, but was more a marriage of convenience, when you consider how swiftly Heikki was bundled out of that team.

      Fact is, Flavio had his reasons for giving him that drive. Perhaps maybe if Romain is driving the car, Renult might think less of quiting the sport.

      1. Williams 4ever
        5th August 2009, 4:08

        I believe Hamilton was even under more pressure than Piquet. There was great expectations from the team, there were millions of eyes trained on him from all over the world, waiting to spot the smallest of mistakes.

        If indeed there was pressure from the team, the team that is known to be ruthless with Some of its Pilots always covered for Hamilton – Remember Brazil’07, Fuji’08 and latest was German GP’09, where team gave him upgrades and he binned it after qualifying high, leave his team-mate with old spec car to save face for the team.

        I don’t see Press Lambasting Hamilton for wasting teams “Massive effort to upgrade one car” and don’t see Martin Whitmarsh/Haug going Sour about the Driver error that screwed their race. I don’t remember McLaren defending their earlier drivers for errors half as cardinal as these.

        I remember how conveniently Ron cribbed about qualifying performances of Kimi and JPM in early part of 2005 . He event went public stating “That was the reason they might have lost constructors championship in 2005″ . When the fact was that for the away races in season start , McLaren had problems getting tyres upto heat over single lap and that was troubling both JPM and Kimi.

  3. Come on, lets face it. Flav has got to be one of the biggest ******** in the business. For that alone I believe every word that Piquet Jr. has said.

    His record does indeed make a fine CV for any driver. Let’s just hope Flav hasn’t totally destroyed the kid’s F1 career. As Brundle was saying the other day, it’s insane that a driver’s career could effectively be over at an age when most of them used to start theirs in his day…

  4. He’ll be back – with a couple of decent F1 results he deserves another crack in a different team. With 24 or 26 cars there won’t be enough experienced F1 racers to go round.

    If Grosjean keeps his nose clean in the street races and shows some talent on the drivers’ circuits to come, then given a couple of big ifs (Alonso off to Ferrari and Renault carrying on, looking good now the Concorde Agreement’s signed) he’ll be in a strong position.

  5. Good….Piquet is gone and he gave Flavio hell on the way out….both of these make me smile!

  6. @ S Hughes:

    Your obvious hatred for Alonso is inversely proportional to your quite frankly frightening love for Hamilton.

    Hamilton is NOT the best driver in F1 today. He is an excellent driver and he is the current world champion no doubt but few experts would disagree that Alonso is still the best. Maybe one day when Hamilton overcomes his weaknesses then he’ll be better than Alonso but he sure isn’t now.

    1. You are entirely wrong. Last year a large panel of international F1 journalists in the ‘F1 Review Book of the Year’ rated Lewis as the best driver, as they did in 2007 as well. Alonso was rated 3rd as he was in 2007. Are you saying that Tony Dodgins and Jonathan Noble of ‘Autosport’ and all the other journalists in this panel are wrong?

      I don’t hate Alonso, but I recognise that his ego and hatred of being beaten make him a nightmare of a teammate and detracts considerably from his character. Lewis likes to win too, frighteningly so, but being beaten only spurs him on to do better, not throw his toys out of his pram and have a tantrum. Alonso has done nothing special this year, whereas Lewis has wrestled amazingly with a poor car all year, and came good eventually when he was given the equipment in Hungary.

      1. Williams 4ever
        5th August 2009, 13:58

        large panel of international F1 journalists

        By International F1 journalists are we referring to bunch of Brits/Europeans who always favor british/European drivers in that order of preference, while running down drivers from other parts of the world ??

  7. I hope Piquet will be back. It’s very easy to believe that Flavio has been a bit of an arse to him, and Piquet has certainly shown some flashes of quality in a car that has more often than not been quite unstable, barring end of ’08. Also be sure to remember that Flavio has poo-pooed Jenson (and others) who have turned out to be very capable. I accept it’s unlikely for Piquet Jr. to go on to be an Alonso/Hamilton/Schumacher but he appears capable of being a Rubens/Heidfeld and that’s worth giving him the environment he says he needs to do his job in.

  8. I second that. Not who’s better HAM or ALO but definitely the weird man-love thing….he he he

    1. So Andy, just what is your problem with a “man-love thing….he he he”?

      Anyway, multiple choice just in case the question is a bit tough:

      1 – Childishly Immature?
      2 – Sexually Insecure?
      3 – Bigoted Tw*t?

      Any or all please…

    2. S Hughes is a girl. It is clear…

  9. @ pSynrg

    Bigot….wow……original. Nahhhh….no problem with man-love at all, or man/woman love or woman/woman love for that matter: my problem is people whos emotional attachment/fixation to a given person (S Hughes and quite clearly yourself) blinds them to fact or fiction, right or wrong, truth or rumour. Resorting to calling someone a bigot because of an off-the-cuff remark means that I think you take life a little too seriously but then again I suppose your reaction is understandable given that the remark was directed at a Hamilton fan…..hmmmmmm

    1. Well, you’ve done nothing to dispel my impressions. A couple of further questions – one similar to your earlier objection.

      Just what is your problem with “a Hamilton fan…..hmmmmmm”?

      And what are you a fan of? (So I can at least fire off a load of baseless ridicule.)

  10. There is not a more well rounded racer on the track than Fernando Alonso.Some people just seem to get a bit overly-giddy when you bring up anyone being better than Hamilton or Kimi.Not saying that they both aren’t excellent racers(the are both world champions after all)but Alonso is a TWO times world champion that had to beat Schumacher to do it.

  11. I think we all appreciate that when a team has only one example of the latest update it goes to the driver who they consider a better bet. It’s one of F1’s ‘facts of life’.

    What I wonder, though, is how often that happens at some teams. Do some teams prioritise getting updates for both cars, and as a result rarely find themselves having to e one driver the better car?

    Do others focus their resources on building the best individual car, with the second driver getting the rough end of the bargain more often than not?

    Afraid I haven’t got a compelling answer to that question, but it might provide an explanation for why, as Tom L. says above, Briatore has a history of unhappy second drivers. And why Alonso felt he wasn’t getting the support worthy of a two-times champion when he turned up at McLaren.

    1. I think we also need to consider the ‘ego’ factor at all times.

      I expect the drivers to all have an ego that is in proportion to the amount of expectation riding on their reputation. Quite apart from the theory of equal/unequal equipment.

      Surely the least reliable answer to the question of equal machinery is going to come from the driver performing less than his team mate.

    2. Unfortunately the modern race car is made, to a great extent of carbon fiber. Its very rarely lately to have a team bringing a purely mechanical update, I mean a metal part.
      Carbon fiber has to go through various processes before it is finally complete. Then a mould is made, which might require some hours or days to set, depending on what the requirements for that component is.
      For small components, its possible to have several of those put in an autoclave simultanously, but for larger compnents like floors, this might not be possible, it all depends on the set up the have.

      As is the case with most new parts, they have to be signed off as working. That normally entails a test. With in season testing banned, teams have to test race weekends. For a large part as a new floor, there might be insufficient time between races to make one, test it approve it, and then replicate it. So if it so happens its a good component, they have to give it to a driver, then hopefully by the next race they have an additional one.

      That is often the reason why even when both drivers have new pieces, there are often no spares, so if a driver damages his new part he resorts to an older part. Gone are the days when race cars were made of metal and a hydrolic press could stamp out several new parts in minutes. Nowadays if a part needs to spend 12hours in an oven, you cant fast forward the process.

    3. I think Ferrari are alternating their updates. Sometimes Massa got them first and other times Kimi got them first.

    4. Max should resign now!!!
      4th August 2009, 2:15

      Maybe we should have ONE TEAM per CAR just to end with favoritisms, pure battles between 26 guys. Anyone?

      1. @ Max should resign now!!!

        Haha, looks like the trend may be going the other way: 3 CARS per ONE TEAM…

        All this current whining about the ‘unfair’ treatment of the 2nd & 3rd drivers will then go out of control, and Keith will need to invest in a bigger hard drive on the server to store all those lengthy debates!

        1. Max should resign now!!!
          4th August 2009, 21:48

          Hi, yes I heard about the 3 car proposal i think it’d be crap to see two guys racing semi rolling “spare parts cars”…

  12. I would like to see Romain in the car. I think he will be very confident in the car. He seems arrogant, but I would call this confidence.

    His poor results in the lasts races in GP2 shows that his head was already in Renault seat. Another point is that Nelson has said that Romain is son of an important CEO in Renault, a Global Renault´s Lawyer or something like that. He own the team in a way…

    He seems very Close to Fernando too, what could help!

    I will not be surprised if he score at least one point or get in Q3 in his debut. This would be a shame to Piquet…

    1. wont happen, he will never make Q3 unless Renault changes the way they ru the team. If he ever outperforms Alonso regarless of car prep and level of new bits on the car Alonso will call Briatore into his office and explain the wway thing work and it will be back to submarining the new guy.

  13. Its just excuse, excuse, excuse, I, I, I

  14. I don’t agree with the whole putting one driver ahead of the other. In Renault’s case I do understand. Picket just sucked. I say he sucks because a good driver will put up with all the crap and just do his job. If you don’t like your current boss, you don’t try to make his life miserable by complaining, you just take it and do what you can to impress other people and hope they take a chance on you. Picket should have kept his mouth shut, but he didn’t and he killed his chances in F1. Guess that just leaves Indy Car.
    And you know, if the teams start putting three cars on the grid, the complaint level of unhappy drivers is just going to go up.
    I say that if you have two good drivers, you should put them both in a position to win, and let them figure out for themselves who will cross the line first.
    So far this year, Red Bull has been the only team to have two really good drivers. They have had three 1st and 2nd finishes. I think they have done a good job of managing their drivers. I know I know, Ross Brawn, but I was hoping to ignore them, but I can’t.

    1. a good driver will put up with all the crap and just do his job. If you don’t like your current boss, you don’t try to make his life miserable by complaining, you just take it and do what you can to impress other people and hope they take a chance on you.

      Brian, using your criteria above, Alonso is a very bad driver.

      1. My idea of a good driver includes his personality and work ethic. Alonso works hard but he has a huge ego, and therefore I don’t like his personality. If I were Ferrari, I would seriously think twice before hiring him next year, and work my butt off trying to get Kimi to stay.

        Say what you want about Kimi, he keeps his mouth shut and he does his job.

  15. Wesley and pSynrg… you both bring up excellent points… watching Fernando and Michael battle in ’06 was amazing.. they say to be the best you have to beat the best and that year… with 7 wins each Fernando stole Shumi’s retirement thunder… epic… and the ego… a drivers ego can be as big as he’s capable of backing up!! Nelson unfortunately pushed his luck proclaiming he was going to beat Alonzo and that was his undoing… well… along with not performing over all… and of course Keith… you are the backbone… enough said… :)

  16. Yes, as a team manager I am certainly going to give my may-be-promising new guy equal footing to my 2 times champion because after all, that’s what F1 is all about-equality and bread for all. Suck it up, Piquet-lite. Your daddy would have done his best to drive the wheels off the damned car wet or dry just to p!$$ off old Flav and might have earned his respect along the way.

    After his last tirade about what Briatore knows about F1 I’m just amazed it took this long to fire him.

  17. When drivers sign a contract as a driver its always as a driver, they is no subclause to be second driver, but as a driver you must realise that you are the number two driver, its not rocket science. To behave otherwise leads to situations like Mclaren 07 ie the title went to Ferrari because Mclaren wouldn`t side one or the other ( Monaco conspiracy put to one side ), but for Nelson to think He was sh*te because of the team and not that He is ***** is pushing things.

  18. I am inclined to think that Piquet got a raw deal and was not treated fairly…but then I think of all his spin-outs and off-track adventures from his season and-a-half in F1, and I am inclined to think a really talented driver would have at least eliminated those mistakes, equal equipment or not.

    If Nelson Sr. buys out BMW’s part of BMW-Sauber, we may really get a chance to see what Piquet Jr. can do. Honestly, I would be really curious to see what would happen in that case.

  19. can anyone plese tell me the number of retiremants that piquet has had in his f1 career so far? i am realy interested to know, if you can help me out that would be great.

    1. Max should resign now!!!
      4th August 2009, 4:31

      9 DNFs on his first season and 2 retirements this year.


      1. Don’t forget his double crash in China. He got classified there, but needing two new noses after two crashes really made him look quite stupid.

      2. Thanks mate! 9! JESUS! i watched all the races last year but i dont remember that many, maybe his frequency of retirements made it seem normal and i didnt notice them. thanks again, hey do you know what his longerst streak of retirements was? or did he decide to spread them evenly over the season?

        1. Max should resign now!!!
          5th August 2009, 20:46

          Hi mate no worries! I was traveling last year so I only managed to watch a couple of races including that great season finale (GO LEWIS!).

          AUS Ret
          MAL 11
          BHR Ret
          ESP Ret
          TUR 15
          MON Ret
          CAN Ret
          FRA 7
          GBR Ret
          GER 2
          HUN 6
          EUR 11
          BEL Ret
          ITA 10
          SIN Ret
          JPN 4
          CHN 8
          BRA Ret

          Yeap it was a bit spread out (i just copied it from wikipedia) :)

          1. Sweet, thanks again. Yea last years finale was incredible, i was on the edge of my seat for the last few laps, one of the greatest season finales ever, im sure that a few ferrari and renault fanswill disagree, and lewis’s driving performane this year has been aqsome, realy great to watch, thanks for finding that out for me i think that i could have had a look on wiki but it never crossed my mind. On piquet however, i dont think that he has been given a good oportunity in the was that he has been pared with alonso, however he hasnt made the most of the oportunities that have been given to him, he hasnt aplied him self 100 percent,and thats a real shame, he has potential he showed that in gp2 but maybe its to hot for him and he should get out of the f1 kitchen, mayb alms would be better for you piquet or go to indy, follow jpm mayb nascar they can survive a few crashes and then finish the race

  20. Its too easy to read Piquet’s words and think that they are all just excuses, but we have seen the wrath of Flavio Briatore before. Just look what happened to Jarno Trulli’s Renault career after the 2004 French Grands Prix to see what I mean?
    Briatore has always operated a ruthless operation at Renault, and Benetton before that. I can remember the huge row he had in the pits at Silverstone in 1994, after Michael Schumacher was black flagged. Classic stuff!
    We all know that Flavio, and he is not alone, likes to build his team around one star driver, which for the last five years has been Fernando Alonso. In many ways, the situation with Piquet reminds me of Alonso towards the end of the 2007 season, openly blasting McLaren principal Ron Dennis for not ‘supporting him enough’.
    A factor that those predicting an Alonso/Ferrari partnership must bear in mind. The relationship between Briatore and Alonso appears one of the most solid in
    Formula One, possibly stronger than the one Hamilton enjoys at McLaren.
    Alonso knows that he can count on Briatore, and that his opinion and ego are listened to and respected. He made the fatal mistake of believing that Ron Dennis would behave in the same way, and paid the price.
    As for Piquet, his future looks very iffy at best. Its true that his family are one of the richest in Brazil, so he has the money behind him, just not the results.
    It is one thing to be successful in other formulas, but the entire grid were successful at some stage in Formula 3000, GP2, and the like. Those statistics are not going to impress F1 supremos risking their own jobs in choosing a long shot.
    The bottom line, as with Bourdais, is that Piquet had a season and a half to show the world his true mettle. 2008 was patchy, but he did just enough with the machine he had to keep his drive. 2009 killed him, as it did with Bourdais. Its sad, but thats F1 for you.

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