Piquet confirms Renault departure 03 Aug 2009
Nelson Piquet says he has been told his services are no longer required by Renault, meaning he is unlikely to race in the forthcoming European Grand Prix, regardless of whether the team win an appeal against their suspension from the event.
Piquet, who began his competitive Formula One career with Renault in 2008, has endured a tough 2009 campaign, failing to score in the ten races to date, and has faced mounting speculation over his future with the team.
I have received notice from the Renault F1 team of its intention to stop me from driving for them in the current F1 season, said Piquet on Monday. 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.
The Brazilian, who spent a year as test driver before being promoted to a Renault race seat alongside Fernando Alonso, said he was now ready to look forward to a new beginning in his motor racing life.
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, he added.
In a lengthy statement, Piquet went on to describe what he described as unfair treatment from the Renault team, singling out team boss and manager Flavio Briatore for particular criticism.
Among his complaints, Piquet claimed that he was given minimal testing relative to Alonso, that Alonso regularly got car updates before he did, and that he was frequently threatened with replacement if he did not achieve good results.
Renault, who have been suspended from the next round in Valencia for the events that saw Alonso lose a wheel in Hungary, have not issued any official comment. The team's French test driver, Romain Grosjean, has been widely tipped as a replacement for Piquet.