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Q&A with Renault's Nelson Piquet 02 Aug 2008

Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary,  Friday, 1 August 2008 Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault R28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary,  Friday, 1 August 2008 Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations, Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, 31 July 2008 Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault R28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday, 20 July 2008

His podium finish at the last round in Germany arguably rescued Nelson Piquet’s reputation. Luck may have been on his side, but the result certainly seems to have boosted his self confidence - as shown by his impressive second place in Friday’s second practice session, beating team mate Fernando Alonso into fourth…

Q: Nelson, you clocked a fantastic time and result in the second practice session. But will it carry through into Saturday afternoon?
Nelson Piquet:
Well, practice has nothing to do with qualifying. On Friday everybody is doing different things. Some people are running light, some are heavy, some are risking a bit more, some are running on soft tyres - so it’s a very different situation to qualifying. What I think is that we will be quite competitive. We could be in the top five or the top ten, or it could even be difficult to be in the top ten, as it has been. In qualifying it makes no sense to focus on the times from Friday. We just need to see were we can improve further because there is always room to improve.

Q: With your podium finish two weeks ago circumstance was on your side. Did luck play a role in achieving Friday’s strong result?
NP:
I haven’t seen any safety car today! True, I was lucky in Hockenheim due to the safety car, but I finished the race in second place and had a better pace than the Ferraris. Everybody needs a bit of luck during a race - that is normal - and in Hockenheim luck leaned on my side. We have been quick in Friday’s afternoon session and hopefully that is an indication for qualifying - and the race.

Q: A second place in Friday practice may not be significant overall, but it must be psychological boost…
NP:
To have a good day always feels great, but I have no illusions that everybody will be quicker in qualifying, that everybody will be running very light, and that everybody will increase the speed, so we have to look where we need to improve.

Q: What do you think Ferrari will do?
NP:
Well, Ferrari obviously will be quicker than us - and McLaren as well - but if we are really quick, as indicated by the times we did Friday, then we could be fighting BMW.

Q: You never complain about the car, even when it’s obviously not competitive. Do you consider the driver to be responsible for the results?
NP:
In most of the qualifying sessions so far there have been drivers who have been quicker than me, so I think first of all - before I start complaining - I need to get my act together and really go quicker than my team mate. The day I am quicker than my team mate and I am not qualifying on pole position then I can start complaining about the car.

Q: After Hockenheim and your Friday showing here, you seem to be on a roll - do you expect to be in the points again on Sunday?
NP:
As I said, Friday does not mean a lot and everything can be completely different after qualifying but, yes, points are always possible and I am quite happy with the car. But before you can start dreaming about points there is the qualifying - and that plays an immense role at this track because it is very hard to overtake here, so qualifying needs to be very good.