Brazilian source claims Piquet ousted
15 July, 2009
Nelson Piquet contested his final grand prix for Renault at the Nurburgring last weekend, according to a Brazilian television network. SporTV claims the 23-year-old will be replaced at the forthcoming Hungarian grand prix, and for the remainder of the 2009 season, by team reserve driver Romain Grosjean, a French-Swiss GP2 driver.
The Brazilian source also said Lucas di Grassi will be drafted in to Grosjean’s test seat. However, the news has not been confirmed by Renault, with team boss Flavio Briatore last Friday answering “we don’t know yet” when asked if Piquet will still have his seat in Hungary.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport believes the decision has been left up to the French team’s engineers, with the Brazilian hopeful of getting one more chance after racing without the improvements featured on Fernando Alonso’s car in Germany.
The French sports daily L’Equipe believes Renault is free to oust Piquet if it wants to. Noting that the Brazilian has not scored a single point so far in 2009, the publication said Piquet’s contract required him to score at least 40 per cent the points tally of his teammate Alonso by mid-season.