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Piquet to test for Renault next week 15 Sep 2006

Nelson Piquet Jnr. (BRA) Piquet Sports GP2 Series, Rd 11, Race 1, Monza, Italy, 9 September 2006. World © Patching/Sutton

Nelson Piquet Jr will make his Renault test debut next week when he gets behind the wheel of the R26 at Silverstone. It will be Piquet’s first Formula One outing since signing with the team as an official 2007 test driver.

Piquet, runner-up in the 2006 GP2 series, will participate in all three days of the session, acclimatising himself to the car, to the team and to its working methods. Weather allowing, the Brazilian will also begin working on technical development programmes.

"I am really looking forward to my first test next week with Renault,” said Piquet, visiting the team’s UK factory for a seat fitting on Friday. “I like Silverstone very much and I have driven there a lot so it's good that I don't have to worry about learning the track, I can just focus on the car.”

It will be Piquet’s first Formula One test in over 18 months. His last outing was with the BAR team (now Honda) at Spain’s Jerez circuit in February 2005. Prior to that, he participated in two sessions for Williams back in 2003 and 2004.

“I am happy that I am getting three full days of testing because it will be more car time than any other F1 car I've driven, and I am looking forward to driving a front-running car like the R26 for the first time,” he added. “It will be a great chance to learn as much as I can and get to know everybody at the team."

Piquet will be partnered at next week’s Renault test by the team’s 2007 race driver, Heikki Kovalainen.