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Romain Grosjean to race for Renault 18 Aug 2009

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Renault Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 9 May 2009 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Renault Development Driver.
Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, 22 July 2008

Renault have announced that third driver Romain Grosjean will race for the team at this weekend’s European Grand Prix, and for the rest of the 2009 season. Grosjean will drive alongside Fernando Alonso and replaces Nelson Piquet, who revealed he had parted company with the squad earlier this month.

"I am very proud that Renault have given me the chance to become a race driver,” said Grosjean. “I'm looking forward to driving the R29 and helping the team get the best results possible. It's also an honour to be Fernando's team mate and to make my Formula One debut alongside a double world champion is especially motivating."

The 23 year-old Frenchman joined Renault’s driver development programme in 2006, after winning the French Formula Renault title. In 2007 he was Formula Three Euro Series champion and in 2008 he won the GP2 Asia Series. This season, Grosjean has been racing in GP2 and had scored two victories before being called on to make his Formula One debut.

"We are happy to give Romain the chance to start racing with the team,” said the Renault team’s managing director, Flavio Briatore. “He is an impressive young talent and we expect him to show his skills driving alongside Fernando as we take an aggressive approach to the second half of the season.

"We would also like to thank Nelson for his contribution during the time he has been with us and wish him all the best for the future."

Piquet, who began his competitive Formula One career with Renault in 2008, had endured a tough 2009 campaign, failing to score points at any of the opening ten races. Following Grosjean’s promotion to the race seat, GP2 frontrunner Lucas Di Grassi will assume third driver duties for the French team in Valencia.