Nelson Piquet confirms Renault exit

Nelson Piquet

Nelson Piquet

Nelson Piquet issued statement confirming his Renault exit. He is officially out. Judging from the contents of the statement one may think that he is actually glad his Renault nightmare is over:

“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.”

Piquet also included a piece of rather interesting and perhaps surprising statistics:

“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.”

He thanked to “the small group who supported him and that he worked together at Renault F1″ but there were no thank you words saved for Flavio Briatore. Here are some parts of the statement describing his uneasy relationship with his manager and team boss:

“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 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.”

Full statement is available on Nelson Piquet’s personal website – click here. It makes an interesting reading …

Nelson Piquet is the second driver dropped during the 2009 season following Sebastien Bourdais’ departure from Toro Rosso. Piquet’s replacement hasn’t been announced yet but current GP2 driver Romain Grosjean is widely expected to take over from Nelson Piquet.

7 Comments Post a Comment
  1. DankNo Gravatar says:

    Biggest surprise EVER!

    Not.

    I love how his long worded statement reflected upon his past glories, under the helpful gaze of Daddy Piquet who helped create his own family run team with lots of ‘yes men’ around them no doubt.

    Not saying that Flav isn’t the nicest of people to race under, but if he’d just got his head down and showed him his talent, his F1 career wouldn’t be in complete in utter tatters.

    Though I’d hazard a bet that Daddy Piquet will pop along soon to rescue his son in some way or another.
    .-= Dank´s last blog ..Vettel bitten by the rallying bug? =-.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I wonder if Flavio is planning to respond to that statement…

      Well there is the story going around that Piquets are planning to take over BMW Sauber so the rescue may be on the way

  2. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    If I were Flavio, I would have canned him last year. His performance has consistently been off Alonzo both in Qualifying and Races. It will be interesting to see if his replacement fares any better, and how Alonzo handles competition if he does.

    Interestingly enough, I have been told that Steve Windsor said that Alonzo is under contract with Ferrari for 2010 and will take one of their seats next year. He said this on Speed TV’s Dave Dispain show last night. He also said that Schumi did not want to retire and that Ferrari basically bought him out so they could put Kimi in a seat. He said that there is no love lost between Kimi and Schumi.

    Anybody else here anything along these lines?

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      well being consistently slower than Alonso is according to Piquet the resutl of the treatment he received in the team :

      “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.

      This may be a case to some extent but I like the way James Allen summed Piquet’s experience up:

      My own view on Piquet is that he can be very fast but that he needs too much preparation time and testing to hit the performance peaks, particularly in qualifying, whereas a top F1 driver can just get in and nail it straight away. Compare Piquet with a driver of similar F1 experience, like Sebastian Vettel, and you will see what I mean. – James Allen

      Re Kimi and Schumi – A lot has been said about the manner of Schumacher’s retirement inlcuding the story you mentioned abover. But hard to tell what is the true…

  3. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    Here is the speculation that has been going on since yesterday:

    While it is entertaining to see Briatore getting a good kicking, it is more interesting to try to figure out what happens next and a Brazilian newspaper called Estado de Sao Paulo may have the solution. It is reporting that Nelson Piquet Sr is in talks with BMW and Peter Sauber to take a stake in the team and move Nelson Jr there for the final races of the year. The newspaper says that the team would become known as Sauber-Piquet and that engines would come from Ferrari. This would be a good way to solve the BMW problem and Nelson’s troubles at Renault. If the Piquet Family is not a strong enough brand name to raise funding for F1 then no-one is going to save the day.

    (from Joe Saward’s blog)

  4. CarlosNo Gravatar says:

    I can’t help but wonder if there’s any value in this statement:

    “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.”

    Emerson Fittipaldi won in his debut year, and I’m pretty sure anyone remembers Ayton Senna at Monaco, not to mention three podium finishes. As for the points scored, the rules were different, one can’t compare. The best debut year of a Brazilian driver? I don’t think so.

  5. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    I did some checking:

    Senna – debut season 1984 – Toleman, 9th, 13 points (3 podiums, 1 fastest lap)
    Fittipaldi – debut season 1970 – Lotus (5 races only), 10th, 12 points (1 win)
    Piquet sr. – debut season 1978 – Ensign, McLaren, Brabham (5 races only), 0 points
    Barrichello – debut season 1993 – Jordan, 17th, 2 points
    Massa – debut season 2002 – Sauber, 13th, 4 points

    So Piquet indeed is the highest points scoring Brazilian rookie driver. But I do agree with your, most points doesn’t mean the best debut year …

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