Piquet’s scathing attack on Briatore

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Nelson Piquet Jnr has hit out at Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore

As first reported here on Saturday, Nelson Piquet Jnr has been dropped by Renault.

And a statement from the Brazilian today gives insight into the simmering resentment between him and team boss Flavio Briatore.

We discussed the Renault situation last week and there was some disagreement over whether Briatore had compromised Piquet in trying to keep Alonso happy. Has Piquet got a point or, as Briatore alleged, is this just him reciting from the drivers’ book of excuses?

I have received notice from the Renault F1 team of its intention to stop me from driving for them in the current F1 season. 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. But, at the same time, 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. I am a team player and there are dozens of people I have worked with in my career who would vouch for my character and talent, except unfortunately the person that has had the most influence on my career in Formula 1.

I started racing at the age of eight and have broken record after record. I won every championship I raced in go-karts. I was South American F3 champion, winning 14 races and getting 17 pole positions. In 2003 I went to England, with my own team, to compete in the British F3 championship. I was champion there as well, winning 12 races and getting 13 pole positions. In fact I was the youngest ever champion. I raced GP2 in 2005 and 2006, winning five races and scoring six pole positions. I had a great season in my second year, only missing out on the championship to Lewis Hamilton due to technical mistakes of our team, which I take as my own as well, including running out of fuel during a race. I set the record in GP2 for the first driver to have a perfect weekend, scoring the maximum points available, in Hungary 2006. No-one matched that until July 2009 when Nico Hulkenberg did in at Nurburgring.

The path to F1 was always going to be tricky, and my father and I therefore signed a management contract with Flavio Briatore, who we believed was an excellent option with all the necessary contacts and management skills. Unfortunately, that was when the black period of my career started. I spent one year as a test driver, where I only did a handful of tests, and the next year started as a race driver with Renault. After the opening part of the season, some strange situations began to happen. As a beginner in F1, I could only expect from my team a lot of support and preparation to help me in getting up to the task. Instead, I was relegated as “someone who drives the other car” with no attention at all. In addition, on numerous occasions, fifteen minutes before qualifying and races, my manager and team boss (Briatore) would threaten me, telling me if I didn’t get a good result, he had another driver ready to put in my place. I have never needed threats before to get results. In 2008 I scored 19 points, finished once on the podium in second place, having the best debut year of a Brazilian driver in F1.

For the 2009 season Briatore, again acting both as my manager and team boss of Renault F1, promised me everything would be different, that I would get the attention I deserved but had never received, and that I would get “at least equal treatment” inside the team. He made me sign a performance-based contract, requiring me to score 40% of Fernando Alonso’s points by mid-way through the season. Despite driving with Fernando, two-time world champion and a really excellent driver, I was confident that, if I had the same conditions, I would easily attain the 40% of points required by the contract.

Unfortunately, the promises didn’t turn into reality again. With the new car I completed 2002km of testing compared to Fernando’s 3839km. Only three days of my testing was in dry weather – only one of Fernando’s was wet. I was only testing with a heavy car, hard tyres, mostly on the first day (when the track is slow and reliability is poor), or when the weather was bad. Fernando was driving a light car with soft tyres in the dry, fine conditions. I never had a chance to be prepared for the qualifying system we use. In Formula 1 today, the difference between 1st and 15th position is sometimes less than a second. It means that 0.2 or 0.3s can make you gain eight positions.

In addition to that, car development is now happening on a race-to-race basis due to the in season testing ban. Of the first nine races that I ran this year, in four of them Fernando had a significant car upgrade that I did not have. I was informed by the engineers at Renault that in those races I had a car that was between 0.5 and 0.8s a lap slower than my teammate. If I look at Germany (where I out-qualified my teammate despite that), if I had that advantage in qualifying I would be fifth and not tenth. If we had that difference in the race, I would have finished ahead of my teammate, which I did in Silverstone, despite him having upgrades that I did not have.

I believe without doubt in my talent and my performance. I didn’t get this far by getting bad results. Anyone who knows my history knows that the results I am having in F1 do not match my CV and my ability. The conditions I have had to deal with during the last two years have been very strange to say the least – there are incidents that I can hardly believe occurred myself. If I now need to give explanations, I am certain it is because of the unfair situation I have been in the past two years. I always believed that having a manager was being a part of a team and having a partner. A manager is supposed to encourage you, support you, and provide you with opportunities. In my case it was the opposite. Flavio Briatore was my executioner.

Being under pressure is not new to me. I have had criticism throughout my career, and have also had a lot of expectations put on me due to my name. Up until now I always met those expectations – surpassed them even. I have never before felt the need to defend myself or fight back from rumours and criticism because I knew the truth and I just wanted to concentrate on racing – I didn’t ever let it affect me. Fortunately, I can now say to those people who supported me through my career that I’m back on the good tracks and considering the options for a new start in my F1 career in a fair and positive way.

I’m on Sky News tonight (Monday) at 7pm talking about Felipe Massa and his replacement Michael Schumacher.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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155 comments on “Piquet’s scathing attack on Briatore”

  1. Good post. That’s why I posted the link from his site in the previous Nelson blog as I think its a very interesting read and about as close to getting inside the real F1 world as we are ever going to get for now…

  2. what channel is Sky News on? because I have the capibility to watch it tonight! woohoo.

    1. Sky news is on ‘sky news’

      1. are you sure?

        1. Yes,

          Broadcast from the astra satellite @28.2 degrees east to the UK and Ireland. And on Freeview Terrestrial TV channel 82. Also carried on Cable. Called SKY NEWS. I’m sure their are other places you could view it.

          any more questions?

        2. He put a blame on his boss. what a shame!

  3. Williams 4ever
    3rd August 2009, 18:46

    Even if every word of this release is true all that the Brazilian has done is given the British/European Press/Pundits to use the clichéd headlines on “Latino temper”.

    Discretion was better part of valour Nelsinho, what was needed to put your head down and go about Quitely “Executing” your career plans, rather than getting branded for life as “Bad Boy”.

    Its not just important to speak the truth, what matters is timing of the truth. Unless of course Piquet Sr. Pulls some strings I don’t see second chance coming for the lad. Good Luck Nelsinho

    1. Discretion was better part of valour Nelsinho

      Jonathan Leggard is that you???

      1. Casino Square
        4th August 2009, 11:58

        Just what I was thinking!

    2. Briatore can be a caustic guy. It is just wrong that every time a driver says as he sees it, people jump on him with all sorts of stupid advice. Piquet and recently Rubens are human beings and not drones following the instructions of their bosses. If Briatore behaved badly, which we all know he does every so often, then kudos to Nelsinho for saying the truth. If we need dronic drivers, then let’s hope that FIA will open up the technical regulations so that computers rather than people drive the cars. Afterall the technology exists.

  4. Hmmm interesting.

    He seems like a decent enough bloke, and although it’s easy to look at his performances and say he’s just rubbish, perhaps he does have a point. Being Alonso’s teammate, as we know, is not likely to be much fun.

    I guess I feel sorry for him. Hope he can get his career back on track and ‘do a Glock.’

  5. I assume he will be replaced by Grosjean, who, unless Renault’s appeal is successful, will be debuting at Spa. Good luck to him!

  6. I can’t be bothered to read the whole article. It’s all full of excuses…

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      3rd August 2009, 19:11

      Perfectly reasonable excuses by the looks of it.

      I never thought Piquet Jr was F1 material but if what he’s said is true (which it probably is, we all know how much of a hard-on Briatore has for Alonso and we’ve seen the pictures of him leaving the race at Hungaroring, showing no patience with Piquet etc.) then I do feel a bit sorry for him.
      Even if he wasn’t good enough for F1, he at least deserved a fair chance and it seems he didn’t get one.

      1. Where does it say what exactly made his chaince “unfair”?

        It’s a list of excuses. Extremely daft ones at that. Are you seriously buying that all it would have taken was for Briatore to show Piquet some love and then he would have gone like the wind?

        1. Mark Hitchcock
          3rd August 2009, 19:32

          Read my comment before you reply next time…
          Like I said, I don’t think he was ever F1 material (so no, he would never have “gone like the wind”), I just think that JUDGING BY WHAT HE SAID HERE Piquet didn’t get a fair chance.

          He had a contract that required him to score 40% of the points scored by Alonso, but was not always given an equal car.
          If that’s why he was dismissed then that’s not fair and not a good way to manage a driver.

          1. I read you reply. You said his exuses were “reasonable”. I say they are not.

            Read you own replies before you claim someone didn’t read them!

          2. Mark Hitchcock
            3rd August 2009, 19:34

            If it was necessary to give Alonso the development parts before Piquet (which is perfectly understandable and acceptable) then Briatore should have taken that into consideration instead of moaning and threatening Piquet whenever he had a bad result.

          3. Personally I dont like Flavio, he is a mentally disturbed individual. I believe every word Piquet said regarding threats, Flavio is just your typical stingy Italian.

            However, Piquet shouldn’t have made any extra deals with Renault if that was the case from the start. He should have left the team if he felt mistreated and should have then tried to seek position in another team.

          4. I agree with Maksutov, Flavio Briatore is a first class idiot, and only Alonso will ever really fit into that team.

            I feel sad for Piquet and I hope he gets another chance with a decent team.

          5. It does seem as though Flav’s man-management skills, as far as drivers are concerned anyway, do leave a lot to be desired.

            Patrese left Benetton after Flav made it clear that the team’s focus was going to stay fixed on Schumacher only (reasonable perhaps considering Schumacher’s potential, but still not the best way to treat one of the sport’s veterans). JJ Lehto’s F1 career was practically finished when Flav didn’t allow him sufficient time to get back up to speed after breaking his neck. Herbert left Benetton saying that he was treated as an afterthought when compared to Schuey. Berger quit F1 after two miserable years under Flav, who at the same time managed to alienate Alesi. Then Kovalainen, after coming back from the critical mauling Flav dished out to him after his debut, was dumped despite several impressive performances to make way for those more in Flav’s favour.

            There seems to be a pattern here – and if you look into Flav’s football exploits too, and the half-a-dozen or so managers he’s been through with QPR, it’s a pattern that emerges again.

        2. How are they ‘daft excuses’?
          Is there any F1 driver who can be expected to excel on half the testing and less of the opportunity of their team-mate. That’s not ‘some love’, that’s just a decent crack.

          I don’t doubt Alonso would still have beaten him, he’s the best driver in F1, but if being denied reasonable testing, being denied the latest upgrades – and always being a race behind on them when he did receive them – isn’t unfair, what is?

          1. Alonso is no way the best driver in F1, Lewis is. But I agree with the rest of your post that Piquet was treated abominably and unfairly.

          2. They have one version of the latest updates. Who do you give it to first, the rookie who is slow and crashes out of half the races or the double champion who will actually do something useful with it?

            So Alonso gets it first.

            Now the question is, did Piquet suffer so much from Alonso having had an update one race earlier on 4 occasions?

            The updates mattered maybe 3 tenths. Not nearly enough to explain the fact that Piquet is almost a second slower than Alonso.

            Still, lets only look at the races where Piquet and Alonso had the same material. In those Alonso was on average 8 tenths quicker in qualifying.

            It’s simply not the updates.

            Then what does explain this 8 tenths deficit? The fact that Briatore isn’t nice to him?

            No other driver paired with Alonso got beaten so consistently and by such huge margins.

            I’ll agree that Piquet was treated poorly (Briatore walking away from the pit after Alonso stopped was simply pathetic), but if he had shown any potential and had scored any results he would have been treated a lot better.

          3. Alonso best driver in f1 or lewis please the ice man rules and shumacher will get a beating at the hands of kimi no todt to protect him now unless he starts crying again!!!

      2. Yeah I always found it unreasonable the way Briatore made it rain on Piquet’s testing days and not Alonso’s.

      3. Sorry Mark, but the reason for Briatore leaving the race early at Hungary has nothing whatsoever to do with Piquet. If you actually did your research, you would know this. Time to do some, maybe?

        1. I haven’t heard any explanation for Briatore leaving early? What is it?

    2. Alonso Ferrari
      3rd August 2009, 21:28

      alonso or lewis inst the best driver SCHUMACHER is!!

      1. kimi is. lewis and alonso are both scrubs who cant do anything without the perfect car and their teammate getting 2nd car treatment.

        1. I wouldn’t´ call the MP4/24 a PERFECT car…

          Anyway, I will love to see Kimi beating, finally, “The Shoe” in a fair and square way…

        2. Umm, did you even watch this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix, last years Singapore Grand Prix or last years Japanese Grand Prix? Or did you just ‘conveniently’ forget?

      2. Yep it’s Schumi.

      3. Schumacher never beat anyone, his team mates were never allowed to challenge him contractual agreement with Ferrari they were just patsies, pawns, kimi will destroy the crybaby, bring it on and see how the ice man takes care of business.

    3. have considered that those excuses could be the truth?

  7. wow now the real crying little baby that is piquet shows his true colors by blameing everything on Flavio Briatore instead of just saying i’m a **** driver and i get **** results. the funnist thing he said is that while i was with my daddy teams that i could never get kicked out of i was such a good driver LOL ok so then the solution is for daddy to start piquet grand prix then piquet will finally get his claimed “fair shot” sounds like flavio should of smacked the kid more than once. what a joke piquet and bordais turned out to be in f1

    1. quality Jason. Cry baby. This little f*ck should never have been driving a Renault. Not a single time watching F1 did I ever see this little runt do anything that warranted more comment, than his history charged name warranted. Indeed the opposite. I’m not a brit, but the brits are stoics, and this spoilt brat could learn a thing or two from Jenson Button.

      The length of this eye-roller of an excuse-charged, counter productive, PR own goal, speaks for itself. Inversely proportional to its impact.

      Disappointed Renault Fan.

  8. Another site is saying Piquet Sr. is trying to work a deal to buy the BMW team. Don’t think it will happen but Jr. could drive for them. Nelshino was always going to get ***t because of who he is. Seems strange that with Flavio being his manager that he would get treated so badly by him.

  9. To be Alonso´s teammate is the worst thing that can hapen to a F1 driver this days.

    1. Hamilton did just fine though

      I’ll agree that to be Alonso´s teammate is the worst thing that can hapen to a sub par F1 driver these days.

      1. Hamilton did fine because he had big daddy Ron Dennis on his side. And thus it was Alonso who had to leave.

        1. you got that correct. McLaren loves Hamilton, whether he deserves it or not. I do believe though that if even half of what Piquet says is true it still doesnt look good for Renault or Briatore. I would look very carefully at my situation before I joined the team.

        2. Ron Dennis was on his side because Hamilton showed that he was better quite quickly.

    2. yes, specially if half the things Nelson said are true…

      1. Ask Kovalainen how he feels being Ham team mate…may be he tells things worst than Piquet Jr.

    3. In many respects, this is very true, if we take a look at Alonso’s teammates since the start of his career:
      Marques/Yoong at Minardi – fine, these two were hardly among F1’s greatest talents, but Alonso outperforming the car hardly helped matters. Neither of them made it much further in F1.

      Jarno Trulli at Renault – almost always matched and sometimes outperformed Alonso, particularly in the first half of 2004, but was dropped by Briatore just before Renault truly came good and as a result missed the chance to drive in a championship-contending car for 2005, when he arguably was driving better than ever.

      Giancarlo Fisichella at Renault – Fisichella had been reviving his career with some strong performances at Sauber the previous year and his Renault drive was supposed to be his big chance; the statistics say it all, 2 poles, 2 wins in 3 years at the team.

      Lewis Hamilton at McLaren – depending on who you believe, possibly had preferential treatment and certainly by the end of the season, when both Alonso and Hamilton were still title contenders, it was clear that Alonso had become alienated and rejected by certain members of the team. One wonders what the result would have been had the pair driven together at Renault, for example.

      Nelson Piquet – obviously this is being discussed at length here so I won’t go into any more depth.

      In each of these cases, it is and will continue to be debated whether this phenomenon is down to Alonso’s undeniable talent showing up his teammates, the teammates’ underperformances, or indeed preferential treatment towards Alonso as Piquet mentions in his statement. What is clear is that in all but one notable case, a number of F1 drivers showing varying amounts of promise beforehand have found their careers stalling or indeed ending after being paired with Fernando.

      1. Certainly in Lewis’s case, and also in his first term at Renault, the situation wasn’t so much that he dominated and destroyed his team mates (though that was partly the case with Fisi) but more that he threw his toys out of the pram when he didn’t get his way.

        The upshot of that was that teams either bent over backwards to help him and alienated the other driver (Renault, Fisi Kovy and Piquet) or he managed to alienate himself from the team (McLaren, Lewis). Post McLaren it seems he matured a bit and rather than get upset and cause a scene, he made sure he had an agreement up front that he would get preferential treatment like a certain seven-time world champion.

        And now Schuey and Kimi are in the same team… Ironically one in the twilight of his career, the other back from the wilderness as it were. Seven races to go chaps…

  10. finally someone gave it to Flavio… the guy is gettign annoying….good riddance for Nelson, he’ll find a wheel and a seat soon enough…

    1. Good riddance indeed. This post puts his career in F1 on max-KERS momentum down the toilet.


  11. The most important sentence of this post:

    I’m on Sky News tonight (Monday) at 7pm talking about Felipe Massa and his replacement Michael Schumacher.

    Who really cares about what Piquet says??

    1. I think it is important to know how Briatore handles his drivers, and how impossible it is to partner Alonso. We’ll see how the next driver gets on. I hope he thrashes Alonso even with sub-par equipment and favoritism towards Alonso, and we’ll see helmets flying and broken motorhome doors galore.

    2. I do care

    3. If that’s true than what are you doing reading this and writing about it?

    4. sumedh, take off those f&%$ing rosetinted spectacles which seem to blind you all the time!!!!

  12. We will only really know at the end of the year when we can compare him to his replacement. If the new guy is even close to on par with Alonso, then Piquet might just be rubbish.

    He seems like a crybaby that always has a frown on his face to me…stark contrast to when I used to watch his dad, I always liked Piquet Sr.

  13. Piquet got outqualified 27-1 by Alonso, and the 1 was because Alonso got caught in the rain in Germany.

    Yes, life can be hard as a #2 driver, but you’ve got to establish yourself by being competitive and giving your teammate a run for his money.

    That’s what Lewis Hamilton did. But Piquet never got close.

  14. I really think that Nelson could not cut it at Renault. Despite the lack of parity on the machinery, Nelsinho made various rookie mistakes, like sliding of the track or spinning out.

    He deserves the boot, and had it come sooner everyone would be a winner. Nelson would be able to ‘get his career back on track’ and another driver would get a chance in F1.

  15. Did Piquet ever really impress? No. He had one and a half seasons to do something impressive, and failed.

    With plenty of promising drivers without a current drive, having such a mediocre driver in that car was a pure travesty.

    1. even if his car was half a second slower than alonso, surely that doesn’t explain all the daft mistakes. the best drivers are the ones who make the most of what they’ve got. eg: webber putting a jaguar on the front row.

  16. They do seem like relatively good excuses. Especially that in 4 races he had a car 0.5-0.8 seconds slower. If true that is significant enough to be a valid excuse.

    However, the ‘best brazilian debut’ was a bit annoying. Sure he scored more points than Senna, but largely due to the number of rounds, and he still only came 12th last year when Senna was =9th.

    1. If it was true it would be a good excuse, but obviously it’s not true.

      Just look at the time differences between Alonso and Piquet. If it was true then there should have been a 0.5 to 0.8 gap that was opened and closed when Piquet lacked and received the updates.

      If you look at the time difference to Alonso, at best those updates where good for 2 or 3 tenths.

      Worse still in the races where they were supposed to have the same material, Alonso was on average 8 tenths faster in qualifying.

      1. Could put that partly down to what he said about not doing any pre-season qualifying testing though I suppose. I agree that he is clearly slow compared to Alonso, but I’m not so sure now that he is too slow for F1. And even if they are irrelevent excuses, they do not in turn excuse Briatore’s threats.

        1. So far he has done over 8000 kilometers in the car this year. Lack of pre season testing could be an argument for the first or maybe first two races. Not in the 8 that followed.

          And even if they are irrelevent excuses, they do not in turn excuse Briatore’s threats.

          You act like you never heard of this before?

          Even so, Briatores threats don’t explain either why he was so much too slow.

          Another irrelevant excuse.

      2. If it was true it would be a good excuse, but obviously it’s not true.

        What is funny is the lack of memory Nelso has. He’s just talking about “differences” in this year’s races.

        What about his performance last year?

        He has been so lucky for renewing his contract for 2009, maybe because as he said, “Briatore is always thinking about money”.

  17. Grosjean should read this carefully. Whatever one thinks of Nelshinho’s actual ability, his former team is clearly disfunctional. One only has to recall Alonso whinging about the lack of support by his team in his last championship year.

    I very much doubt the sum of Piquet’s presentation here: that he is the second coming of Fangio based on lower formula results. But I have no doubt that Alonso, after being shown Hamilton’s heels on the track in 07, and complaining about the lack of respect he received as a world champion, had made it clear to Flavio that he would have his respect—in the form of newest parts, more testing time, and more timely technical assistance. In fact, at the time, respect and support were seen as the main reasons to flee a winning team to return to struggling Renault. It would be odd to think he returned to Renault to be an “equal” to anyone.

    I’m interested to see whether Alsono will deny the charges of favoritism Piquet lays out—he rarely misses an opportuinty to opine on the merits of other drivers.

  18. Boston F1 Fan
    3rd August 2009, 19:51

    – I know that these statements are put through a PR person, but nevertheless it’s nice to see a Formula 1 driver with a personality and a soul.

  19. We will never know, will we Keith, if Piquet could have rivalled Alonso as he was never given the chance with the same support and equipment? To think of the hoo ha that went on in 2007 over “equal treatment” at McLaren between Alonso and Lewis, and yet this sort of treatment by that beastly Briatore goes on without a murmur. If Heikki was treated like that, there would be internet meltdown. I remember the one weekend that Heikki didn’t have the same car as Lewis because they couldn’t get two sets of updates through in time for the German GP, I saw loads of comments on the BBC website asking if Heikki had the same car as Lewis, and the same thing happened in Hungary. Why were there no similar questions regarding Piquet and Alonso? It seems the F1 community is happy to see unequal treatment at teams as long as Lewis doesn’t get the advantage. I don’t think Alonso is blameless in this. It appears that the only way that he is happy in a team is if he soundly beats his teammate and the only real way to guarantee that is to handicap the teammate, as was the case with Piquet. What a disgraceful man Briatore seems. Alonso is just trouble, and I don’t know how anyone can partner him as they would be always in a lose lose situation – if they beat Alonso, Alonso would throw his toys out of the pram; if he is worse than Alonso, he gets the sack. No wonder Lewis keeps his dad as his manager. Maybe Piquet should have done the same. I hope, as the rumours are going, Piquet’s dad buys the Sauber team and Nelson can show what he is made of. And God help Alonso’s next teammate. What a poisoned chalice that position is!

    1. What most people don’t realise is that when a new part is brought to the race weekend, especially a big part as a floor, the cost involved ensures that only one has to be built first and then tested on the friday. If it doesn’t work, 2 fully built floors would be double the waste of money and time. :-)

      Apart from the last but one race, very often Heikki had got updates same time as Lewis and sometimes choses not to run with them.

    2. Williams 4ever
      3rd August 2009, 22:11

      If Heikki was treated like that, there would be internet meltdown.

      Well The facts are that Heikki has been treated like that and there hasn’t been any internet melt-down.
      a) Every race in 2008 in Q3 Heikki was carrying more fuel, which effectively wiped out his chances of fighting for pole and the race wins.
      b) In name of 2009 regulations and lack of in-season testing,its not just one race in 2009 that the Finn has been driving a “Old spec” car and Hamilton driving car with latest upgrades.

      I hope “New Culture” McLaren Management remain honest about a) and b) when Heikki’s Contract is up for renewal.

      Three weeks ago Whitmarsh was honest about Heikki’s situation and renewal of contract was making rounds, somehow German(Nico) Driver to Mercedes Powered team is gathering momentum as well and I hope Heikki doesn’t become casuality in that one.

      And God help Alonso’s next teammate. What a poisoned chalice that position is!

      Ditto for Hamilton’s next team-mate at McLaren. No driver with World title aspirations will be ready to drive for McLaren as long as Hamilton is with the team

      1. He carries more fuel in P2? come on whenever both cars get into P3 the difference in fuel is usually 0.5kg between the 2cars. When outside the top 10 it pays for Heikki to have more fuel.
        A team like Mclaren might use fuel to disguise the fact that Heikki isn’t really performing well. Not saying he is a bad driver, I just feel he hasn’t hit the same form he was at in the latter stages of his Renualt foray.

        Mclaren wanted Rosberg in the team the previous season. And I bet you it was not as a second driver. With Ron, he likes his drivers fighting. Because it brings out the best in both and the team can reap the rewards.

      2. I meant Q2 and Q3.

        1. Williams 4ever
          4th August 2009, 1:42

          Please check the 1st pit-stop windows for entire 2008 season and it will be clear that the fuel difference was not mere 0.5 kgs!!!

          This year of course both of them struggled with the inferior cars, but whenever it has come to upgrades the team favorite has got them earlier than the Finnish driver.

          This year they have more sophisticated excuse, that with in-season testing ban and limited resources the woking based team working 36 hour shift could only manufacture upgrades for one car.

          A Honest McLaren would have been one that would have given winning race strategy alternate races to both drivers, till the point that one clearly is out of contention to beat his team mate in points race. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be case at McLaren/most of the teams on the grid.

          RedBull has so far maintained parity between Vettel/Webber if anyone has noticed their switching of fuel loads alternate race, to give Webber & Vettel both a fair chance to go for pole.

        2. Williams 4ever
          4th August 2009, 2:01

          Have I ever mentioned Q2 :-? I was referencing 2008 season when both McLaren made to Q3 but Kovy was handicapped with extra fuel-load right from race 1

      3. Williams4ever, you are talking rubbish. To say that Heikki is treated as unfairly as Piquet is just barmy. I actually think Heikki is quick, but he is not consistent over a race distance and is rubbish at overtaking, two things that Lewis is supreme at. That is why Heikki isn’t the driver Lewis is. I think he is good for the team because as long as he gets solid points for the team when Lewis wins, he would be doing his job towards winning the constructors title. I think there are many drivers who would love to drive for McLaren but a few whose egos might not like being whipped by Lewis like Alonso was by a rookie!

      4. I have seen people mention about Kovalainen qualifying with heavier fuel than Hamilton in 2008 a few times, but I seem to remember that Raikkonen, the then reigning World Champion, usually qualified with more fuel than Massa in 2008. Unless we know the details of team meetings with regards to strategy and what the drivers think they can make work we don’t know the reasons behind each driver’s strategy.

        With regards to the issue of only one driver getting the updates we have seen this happen at both ends of the pit lane this season with Sutil getting the updates first at Silverstone with Force India and Massa getting them first at Ferrari in Germany. Sometimes even big teams only have the time and resources to have enough ready for one driver.

        1. Williams 4ever
          4th August 2009, 12:05

          Sometimes even big teams only have the time and resources to have enough ready for one driver.

          Nothing wrong in doing that.. as long as they are honest with themselves the drivers and the fans…

    3. I don’t know this all sounds a bit over dramatic to me, I mean don’t get me wrong I think Briatore is a disgrace but mainly because he went out with Naomi Campbell.

      By his own admission Piquet had the same (or insignificantly different) equipment for half of the races this season and what did he do?

      In two of the races where he felt he had significantly inferior equipment he finished ahead of Alonso, so I don’t think the issue of equipment is that important.

      Morale and how he was treated on an interpersonal level is something else. I seem to remember Renault’s radio transmissions to him last season were shall we say rather curt which I never imagined to be that encouraging half way through a Grand Prix. I can also imagine being threatened with the sack before a qualifying session wouldn’t be that helpful.

      A lot of his statement seems to boil down to his belief that he is natural born champion and a sense that he never got the attention he deserved.

      I still reckon fundamentally he’s just not been fast enough to warrant his place.

    4. No. Let’s just be realistic. You don’t walk into a team with a double world champion, run by a guy who’s a legend in F1, and by some act of God expect to be treated like Senna. You have to prove yourself against the odds. You have to show that you have something special. You have to motivate those 72-hour non stop engineering teams efforts, that they won’t be wasted on some spoiled rich kid, who won’t deliver to the max. Piquet was not a terrible driver. He was merely 5/10. Mediocre. If you were a Renault Engineer, with limited time, money, and concentration-on-innovation resources, would you have felt motivated to pull it all out for this kid? The answer is a sad no. At F1 level, when you have literally dozens of super talented kids waiting in the wings, you have to shoot the lights out within 6 months. Nelsinho has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Now he’s doing his spoilt-richkid-priviliged name PR dance. Sad that he doesn’t realise (yet) that inherited fame is pure curse.

  20. Spot on Keith, you were the first to report this.

    Nelsinho didn’t say anything out of the ordinary. He has a very valid point. Right back to the Bennetton days, the second driver in that team was often always forgotten about, but expected to perform wonders. Vesteppen suffered a similar fate as Piquet, virtually anonymous inside the team.

    Looking back to a not so distant past, Trulli was out performing Alonso until he fell out of favour with Flavio. Suddenly his car was unable to perform and even had a freak suspension failure at Silverstone.

    There might be gentle pressure on Flavio to have a french man in one of the race sits.

    Not saying Piquet is/was going to set F1 on fire, it is however very possible for a team to help a driver under perform, or even manipulate the situation to make it appear that he does. Perhaps Flavio’s style is designed to bring out the fighting spirit in his drivers.

    1. Thanks Oliver.

      Think it’s interesting Renault haven’t had a French driver so far – it’s not as if they haven’t had opportunities (Bourdais, Montagny).

      Funny when you think of the criticism Bourdais got for not taking up Briatore’s offer all those years ago (of a Renault drive providing he let Briatore manage him). The way things worked out perhaps it wouldn’t have made any difference whether he took it or not…

      1. I think Bourdais did well not to go to Renault. :-) Flav would have kicked him out after hearing sing sad songs every race.

  21. piquet needs to hire PR people because his tweets and messages like this will not win him many friends in the tight-knit world of F1

    1. further to that, these types of retrospectives are better written by a third-party, so they aren’t as self-serving. he should have had a team feed it to a journalist (as a writer myself i know how this scheit works)

      1. He did well to quote himself. Some journalists are able to arrive at a different conclusion from a driver’s statement. PlanetF1 might report it as, **Piquet threatens Flavio’s family**, then after reading it you’ll find that piquet is maybe quoated as saying **I’ll like to thank Flavio and the Renualt team for the opportunity they gave me**, and reading deeper you might find a report saying all their families met to have a pleasant dinner together.

        As for news of the world, their article might be like, **Piquet straps Flavio to a chair and pees on him.**

      2. I forgot to ask what team you want to feed it to the press.

    2. “In addition, on numerous occasions, fifteen minutes before qualifying and races, my manager and team boss (Briatore) would threaten me, telling me if I didn’t get a good result, he had another driver ready to put in my place.”

      Briatore rocks. thats my takeaway from that.

      can’t handle pressure little nelson? its what the rest of us deal with every day of our lives

    3. I would rather have someone who spoke out on injustices than just kept schtum. Why should he just walk away with his tail between his legs than give his side of the story? Whether you side with him or not, he is entitled to tell his story.

      1. fair enough, but it is entirely self-serving

        think about this: if piquet never raced in F1 again, will we be talking about in him 20 years as the driver who would have been the next Senna but never got the opportunity?

        that is how he is presenting it..

        1. Good analysis on that one :)

      2. Yet when Alonso spoke out at McLaren he was “throwing his toys out of the pram.” Explain.

        1. Williams 4ever
          5th August 2009, 3:48

          Yet when Alonso spoke out at McLaren he was “throwing his toys out of the pram.” Explain.

          Well Said Red :D. When Alonso at McLaren expected to be treated like Double WDC, Everyone wanted McLaren to Let their drivers race freely with each other. On the other hand when McLaren compromises Heikki’s races on equipment and strategy. British Crowd justify that as “Its obvious for McLaren to put their bets on WDC”. Do we need any more proof of Double Standards by the team and fans

  22. I fell sorry for nelsinho. I agree that he hasn’t had chance to perform to the best of his ability. In GP2 he was nearly as awesome as hamilton. I think he needed to find his feet without being under pressure, under pressure under-experienced drivers push to hard and make mistakes. He needs to find his feet without the pressure and then he will be able to take it.

    The precision and skill required to drive a f1 car is beyond my imagination. Doing that for the first time with all the pressure in the world on you and trying to concentrate at the same time has got to be near-impossible.

    When Lewis Hamilton joined McLaren there was absolutely no pressure on him, he took it easy and then started matching and beating alonso, because he was allowed to do so. This in turn created a massive boost of confidence for him. Nelsinho, on the other hand, has not had an oppurtunity ti gain any confidence. The little falsh of confidence he had last season after getting his lucky podium in germany made him beat Alonso twice in a row in the following races before the pressure came back again.

    I, for one, would like to see him in F1 again, with a fair chance. I hope Mr Piquet Snr manages to buy BMW because it will kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

    My opinion may be slightly biased, but Fernando Alonso ruined my opinion of him when he went to McLaren. Brilliant driver that he is, he is a terrible person.

    1. Totally agree. I hope to see Piquet in a team that gives him support and equal equipment, then and only then will we see how he is compared to his teammate.

      All those who are saying good riddance and that he never proved himself, etc, did you not read how he was given equipment up to .8 second slower than Alonso and nasty treatment by Briatore. How the hell could he prove himself with such comtemptuous behaviour showed to him?

      He always seemed so sad and now we know why.

      1. Also I never listen to a word that comes of of Flavio Briatore’s mouth, he is the most full of s*** person I ever heard in my life!

    2. There was no pressure on Piquet when he started either. The presure started after he failed for 15 races in a row.

      It’s amazing that he kept going for 27 failures before Briatore finally had enough.

    3. @djdavep,
      Contrary to your opinion, I believe Hamilton was even under more pressure than Piquet. There was great expectations from the team, there were millions of eyes trained on him from all over the world, waiting to spot the smallest of mistakes. I even recall one post here, where are guy mentioned the fact Hamilton had 2wheels on the grass/sand at a single corner on a single lap out of the odd 60 or so laps he did in Melbourne, as if it was some monumental error worthy of him losing his race sit. Oddly that individual failed to notice that Kimi, who was leading the race and later went on to win it, under no pressure whatsoever missed his braking point, and had to brake awkwardly to avoid running into the gravel trap, yet Kimi had years of experience in F1, but he was the one making the rookie error.

      The fact Flavio always tried to rattle him gives me the impression that he wasn’t their original pick, but was more a marriage of convenience, when you consider how swiftly Heikki was bundled out of that team.

      Fact is, Flavio had his reasons for giving him that drive. Perhaps maybe if Romain is driving the car, Renult might think less of quiting the sport.

      1. Williams 4ever
        5th August 2009, 4:08

        I believe Hamilton was even under more pressure than Piquet. There was great expectations from the team, there were millions of eyes trained on him from all over the world, waiting to spot the smallest of mistakes.

        If indeed there was pressure from the team, the team that is known to be ruthless with Some of its Pilots always covered for Hamilton – Remember Brazil’07, Fuji’08 and latest was German GP’09, where team gave him upgrades and he binned it after qualifying high, leave his team-mate with old spec car to save face for the team.

        I don’t see Press Lambasting Hamilton for wasting teams “Massive effort to upgrade one car” and don’t see Martin Whitmarsh/Haug going Sour about the Driver error that screwed their race. I don’t remember McLaren defending their earlier drivers for errors half as cardinal as these.

        I remember how conveniently Ron cribbed about qualifying performances of Kimi and JPM in early part of 2005 . He event went public stating “That was the reason they might have lost constructors championship in 2005” . When the fact was that for the away races in season start , McLaren had problems getting tyres upto heat over single lap and that was troubling both JPM and Kimi.

  23. Come on, lets face it. Flav has got to be one of the biggest ******** in the business. For that alone I believe every word that Piquet Jr. has said.

    His record does indeed make a fine CV for any driver. Let’s just hope Flav hasn’t totally destroyed the kid’s F1 career. As Brundle was saying the other day, it’s insane that a driver’s career could effectively be over at an age when most of them used to start theirs in his day…

  24. He’ll be back – with a couple of decent F1 results he deserves another crack in a different team. With 24 or 26 cars there won’t be enough experienced F1 racers to go round.

    If Grosjean keeps his nose clean in the street races and shows some talent on the drivers’ circuits to come, then given a couple of big ifs (Alonso off to Ferrari and Renault carrying on, looking good now the Concorde Agreement’s signed) he’ll be in a strong position.

  25. Good….Piquet is gone and he gave Flavio hell on the way out….both of these make me smile!

  26. @ S Hughes:

    Your obvious hatred for Alonso is inversely proportional to your quite frankly frightening love for Hamilton.

    Hamilton is NOT the best driver in F1 today. He is an excellent driver and he is the current world champion no doubt but few experts would disagree that Alonso is still the best. Maybe one day when Hamilton overcomes his weaknesses then he’ll be better than Alonso but he sure isn’t now.

    1. You are entirely wrong. Last year a large panel of international F1 journalists in the ‘F1 Review Book of the Year’ rated Lewis as the best driver, as they did in 2007 as well. Alonso was rated 3rd as he was in 2007. Are you saying that Tony Dodgins and Jonathan Noble of ‘Autosport’ and all the other journalists in this panel are wrong?

      I don’t hate Alonso, but I recognise that his ego and hatred of being beaten make him a nightmare of a teammate and detracts considerably from his character. Lewis likes to win too, frighteningly so, but being beaten only spurs him on to do better, not throw his toys out of his pram and have a tantrum. Alonso has done nothing special this year, whereas Lewis has wrestled amazingly with a poor car all year, and came good eventually when he was given the equipment in Hungary.

      1. Williams 4ever
        5th August 2009, 13:58

        large panel of international F1 journalists

        By International F1 journalists are we referring to bunch of Brits/Europeans who always favor british/European drivers in that order of preference, while running down drivers from other parts of the world ??

  27. I hope Piquet will be back. It’s very easy to believe that Flavio has been a bit of an arse to him, and Piquet has certainly shown some flashes of quality in a car that has more often than not been quite unstable, barring end of ’08. Also be sure to remember that Flavio has poo-pooed Jenson (and others) who have turned out to be very capable. I accept it’s unlikely for Piquet Jr. to go on to be an Alonso/Hamilton/Schumacher but he appears capable of being a Rubens/Heidfeld and that’s worth giving him the environment he says he needs to do his job in.

  28. I second that. Not who’s better HAM or ALO but definitely the weird man-love thing….he he he

    1. So Andy, just what is your problem with a “man-love thing….he he he”?

      Anyway, multiple choice just in case the question is a bit tough:

      1 – Childishly Immature?
      2 – Sexually Insecure?
      3 – Bigoted Tw*t?

      Any or all please…

    2. S Hughes is a girl. It is clear…

  29. @ pSynrg

    Bigot….wow……original. Nahhhh….no problem with man-love at all, or man/woman love or woman/woman love for that matter: my problem is people whos emotional attachment/fixation to a given person (S Hughes and quite clearly yourself) blinds them to fact or fiction, right or wrong, truth or rumour. Resorting to calling someone a bigot because of an off-the-cuff remark means that I think you take life a little too seriously but then again I suppose your reaction is understandable given that the remark was directed at a Hamilton fan…..hmmmmmm

    1. Well, you’ve done nothing to dispel my impressions. A couple of further questions – one similar to your earlier objection.

      Just what is your problem with “a Hamilton fan…..hmmmmmm”?

      And what are you a fan of? (So I can at least fire off a load of baseless ridicule.)

  30. There is not a more well rounded racer on the track than Fernando Alonso.Some people just seem to get a bit overly-giddy when you bring up anyone being better than Hamilton or Kimi.Not saying that they both aren’t excellent racers(the are both world champions after all)but Alonso is a TWO times world champion that had to beat Schumacher to do it.

  31. I think we all appreciate that when a team has only one example of the latest update it goes to the driver who they consider a better bet. It’s one of F1’s ‘facts of life’.

    What I wonder, though, is how often that happens at some teams. Do some teams prioritise getting updates for both cars, and as a result rarely find themselves having to e one driver the better car?

    Do others focus their resources on building the best individual car, with the second driver getting the rough end of the bargain more often than not?

    Afraid I haven’t got a compelling answer to that question, but it might provide an explanation for why, as Tom L. says above, Briatore has a history of unhappy second drivers. And why Alonso felt he wasn’t getting the support worthy of a two-times champion when he turned up at McLaren.

    1. I think we also need to consider the ‘ego’ factor at all times.

      I expect the drivers to all have an ego that is in proportion to the amount of expectation riding on their reputation. Quite apart from the theory of equal/unequal equipment.

      Surely the least reliable answer to the question of equal machinery is going to come from the driver performing less than his team mate.

    2. Unfortunately the modern race car is made, to a great extent of carbon fiber. Its very rarely lately to have a team bringing a purely mechanical update, I mean a metal part.
      Carbon fiber has to go through various processes before it is finally complete. Then a mould is made, which might require some hours or days to set, depending on what the requirements for that component is.
      For small components, its possible to have several of those put in an autoclave simultanously, but for larger compnents like floors, this might not be possible, it all depends on the set up the have.

      As is the case with most new parts, they have to be signed off as working. That normally entails a test. With in season testing banned, teams have to test race weekends. For a large part as a new floor, there might be insufficient time between races to make one, test it approve it, and then replicate it. So if it so happens its a good component, they have to give it to a driver, then hopefully by the next race they have an additional one.

      That is often the reason why even when both drivers have new pieces, there are often no spares, so if a driver damages his new part he resorts to an older part. Gone are the days when race cars were made of metal and a hydrolic press could stamp out several new parts in minutes. Nowadays if a part needs to spend 12hours in an oven, you cant fast forward the process.

    3. I think Ferrari are alternating their updates. Sometimes Massa got them first and other times Kimi got them first.

    4. Max should resign now!!!
      4th August 2009, 2:15

      Maybe we should have ONE TEAM per CAR just to end with favoritisms, pure battles between 26 guys. Anyone?

      1. @ Max should resign now!!!

        Haha, looks like the trend may be going the other way: 3 CARS per ONE TEAM…

        All this current whining about the ‘unfair’ treatment of the 2nd & 3rd drivers will then go out of control, and Keith will need to invest in a bigger hard drive on the server to store all those lengthy debates!

        1. Max should resign now!!!
          4th August 2009, 21:48

          Hi, yes I heard about the 3 car proposal i think it’d be crap to see two guys racing semi rolling “spare parts cars”…

  32. I would like to see Romain in the car. I think he will be very confident in the car. He seems arrogant, but I would call this confidence.

    His poor results in the lasts races in GP2 shows that his head was already in Renault seat. Another point is that Nelson has said that Romain is son of an important CEO in Renault, a Global Renault´s Lawyer or something like that. He own the team in a way…

    He seems very Close to Fernando too, what could help!

    I will not be surprised if he score at least one point or get in Q3 in his debut. This would be a shame to Piquet…

    1. wont happen, he will never make Q3 unless Renault changes the way they ru the team. If he ever outperforms Alonso regarless of car prep and level of new bits on the car Alonso will call Briatore into his office and explain the wway thing work and it will be back to submarining the new guy.

  33. Its just excuse, excuse, excuse, I, I, I

  34. I don’t agree with the whole putting one driver ahead of the other. In Renault’s case I do understand. Picket just sucked. I say he sucks because a good driver will put up with all the crap and just do his job. If you don’t like your current boss, you don’t try to make his life miserable by complaining, you just take it and do what you can to impress other people and hope they take a chance on you. Picket should have kept his mouth shut, but he didn’t and he killed his chances in F1. Guess that just leaves Indy Car.
    And you know, if the teams start putting three cars on the grid, the complaint level of unhappy drivers is just going to go up.
    I say that if you have two good drivers, you should put them both in a position to win, and let them figure out for themselves who will cross the line first.
    So far this year, Red Bull has been the only team to have two really good drivers. They have had three 1st and 2nd finishes. I think they have done a good job of managing their drivers. I know I know, Ross Brawn, but I was hoping to ignore them, but I can’t.

    1. a good driver will put up with all the crap and just do his job. If you don’t like your current boss, you don’t try to make his life miserable by complaining, you just take it and do what you can to impress other people and hope they take a chance on you.

      Brian, using your criteria above, Alonso is a very bad driver.

      1. My idea of a good driver includes his personality and work ethic. Alonso works hard but he has a huge ego, and therefore I don’t like his personality. If I were Ferrari, I would seriously think twice before hiring him next year, and work my butt off trying to get Kimi to stay.

        Say what you want about Kimi, he keeps his mouth shut and he does his job.

  35. Wesley and pSynrg… you both bring up excellent points… watching Fernando and Michael battle in ’06 was amazing.. they say to be the best you have to beat the best and that year… with 7 wins each Fernando stole Shumi’s retirement thunder… epic… and the ego… a drivers ego can be as big as he’s capable of backing up!! Nelson unfortunately pushed his luck proclaiming he was going to beat Alonzo and that was his undoing… well… along with not performing over all… and of course Keith… you are the backbone… enough said… :)

  36. Yes, as a team manager I am certainly going to give my may-be-promising new guy equal footing to my 2 times champion because after all, that’s what F1 is all about-equality and bread for all. Suck it up, Piquet-lite. Your daddy would have done his best to drive the wheels off the damned car wet or dry just to p!$$ off old Flav and might have earned his respect along the way.

    After his last tirade about what Briatore knows about F1 I’m just amazed it took this long to fire him.

  37. When drivers sign a contract as a driver its always as a driver, they is no subclause to be second driver, but as a driver you must realise that you are the number two driver, its not rocket science. To behave otherwise leads to situations like Mclaren 07 ie the title went to Ferrari because Mclaren wouldn`t side one or the other ( Monaco conspiracy put to one side ), but for Nelson to think He was sh*te because of the team and not that He is ***** is pushing things.

  38. I am inclined to think that Piquet got a raw deal and was not treated fairly…but then I think of all his spin-outs and off-track adventures from his season and-a-half in F1, and I am inclined to think a really talented driver would have at least eliminated those mistakes, equal equipment or not.

    If Nelson Sr. buys out BMW’s part of BMW-Sauber, we may really get a chance to see what Piquet Jr. can do. Honestly, I would be really curious to see what would happen in that case.

  39. can anyone plese tell me the number of retiremants that piquet has had in his f1 career so far? i am realy interested to know, if you can help me out that would be great.

    1. Max should resign now!!!
      4th August 2009, 4:31

      9 DNFs on his first season and 2 retirements this year.


      1. Don’t forget his double crash in China. He got classified there, but needing two new noses after two crashes really made him look quite stupid.

      2. Thanks mate! 9! JESUS! i watched all the races last year but i dont remember that many, maybe his frequency of retirements made it seem normal and i didnt notice them. thanks again, hey do you know what his longerst streak of retirements was? or did he decide to spread them evenly over the season?

        1. Max should resign now!!!
          5th August 2009, 20:46

          Hi mate no worries! I was traveling last year so I only managed to watch a couple of races including that great season finale (GO LEWIS!).

          AUS Ret
          MAL 11
          BHR Ret
          ESP Ret
          TUR 15
          MON Ret
          CAN Ret
          FRA 7
          GBR Ret
          GER 2
          HUN 6
          EUR 11
          BEL Ret
          ITA 10
          SIN Ret
          JPN 4
          CHN 8
          BRA Ret

          Yeap it was a bit spread out (i just copied it from wikipedia) :)

          1. Sweet, thanks again. Yea last years finale was incredible, i was on the edge of my seat for the last few laps, one of the greatest season finales ever, im sure that a few ferrari and renault fanswill disagree, and lewis’s driving performane this year has been aqsome, realy great to watch, thanks for finding that out for me i think that i could have had a look on wiki but it never crossed my mind. On piquet however, i dont think that he has been given a good oportunity in the was that he has been pared with alonso, however he hasnt made the most of the oportunities that have been given to him, he hasnt aplied him self 100 percent,and thats a real shame, he has potential he showed that in gp2 but maybe its to hot for him and he should get out of the f1 kitchen, mayb alms would be better for you piquet or go to indy, follow jpm mayb nascar they can survive a few crashes and then finish the race

  40. Its too easy to read Piquet’s words and think that they are all just excuses, but we have seen the wrath of Flavio Briatore before. Just look what happened to Jarno Trulli’s Renault career after the 2004 French Grands Prix to see what I mean?
    Briatore has always operated a ruthless operation at Renault, and Benetton before that. I can remember the huge row he had in the pits at Silverstone in 1994, after Michael Schumacher was black flagged. Classic stuff!
    We all know that Flavio, and he is not alone, likes to build his team around one star driver, which for the last five years has been Fernando Alonso. In many ways, the situation with Piquet reminds me of Alonso towards the end of the 2007 season, openly blasting McLaren principal Ron Dennis for not ‘supporting him enough’.
    A factor that those predicting an Alonso/Ferrari partnership must bear in mind. The relationship between Briatore and Alonso appears one of the most solid in
    Formula One, possibly stronger than the one Hamilton enjoys at McLaren.
    Alonso knows that he can count on Briatore, and that his opinion and ego are listened to and respected. He made the fatal mistake of believing that Ron Dennis would behave in the same way, and paid the price.
    As for Piquet, his future looks very iffy at best. Its true that his family are one of the richest in Brazil, so he has the money behind him, just not the results.
    It is one thing to be successful in other formulas, but the entire grid were successful at some stage in Formula 3000, GP2, and the like. Those statistics are not going to impress F1 supremos risking their own jobs in choosing a long shot.
    The bottom line, as with Bourdais, is that Piquet had a season and a half to show the world his true mettle. 2008 was patchy, but he did just enough with the machine he had to keep his drive. 2009 killed him, as it did with Bourdais. Its sad, but thats F1 for you.

  41. I think the issue stems from having a personal manager who is also one’s team boss!

    OK, so that is also true of Alonso, but it’s otherwise rare down the pitlane. Flav is manager of several drivers, such as Webber, but isn’t team boss of them at the same time.

    Equally, there are drivers like Felipe, Kimi etc who have managers who are on their “team” in a personal sense, and can represent their interests without the conflict of interest of running the F1 team at the same time.

    I’m not a Piquet fanboy, but a certain amount of what he has said rings true. The shame is that having achieved so much in his short career so far (pre-F1) he may struggle to recover from here.

  42. The release is interesting and if all is true according to Piquet he probably did get shafted to a degree by Flav.

    However was it Flav who kept throwing Piquet’s Renault down the road so many times in his season and a half in F1? No. Piquet seems to have an attraction to gravel since he’s been in F1 and, upgrades or no upgrades, that’s his own fault. If he had kept it on the road most of the time and been within sight of Alonso Flav wouldn’t be so dark.

    A question – would Nelson Piquet Jr have had the talent and opportunity to have been an F1 driver if his name were John Smith?

  43. I just hope if Nelsinho gets another drive for next year, he can show everyone what he is capable of.At least give him the chance to stand by his words..
    All in all , at least for me, anyone who bashes Flavio Briatore is a nice guy

  44. Just a thought…

    A team has to make decisions about the direction they take with car development and these may or may not suit a particular driver’s style.

    Now is Piquet’s driving style similar to Alonso’s or would he require different handling characteristics from his car to go fast?

    It’s hard to think that Renault would tailor their car to suit Alonso’s style in particular and if this was the opposite of what Piquet needed then he would struggle.

    As I say just a thought, since I’m no fan of Flavio. If this was a strategy that he employs every year then it could also explain why his teams often have 1 star driver who out performs the 2nd driver.

    1. Piquet never complained about the car itself.

      Though I doubt he would have the skill to realise wether it suits his driving style or not.

  45. In an ever changing world of f1 – at least piquet jr was a constant. If someone went off the track, spun or crashed – It was Junior.

  46. Seem to remember Flav having complete disregard for Johnny Herbert in 1995, and he was WINNING RACES for him.

    In Flav’s world, everything goes to number one driver (Schumacher/Alonso), then ‘someone else’ drives the other car (Lehto/Verstappen/Herbert/Fisi/Trulli etc etc)

    No.1 driver
    Schumacher – 19 wins
    Alonso – 17 wins

    No.2 driver
    Herbert – 2 wins
    Fisichella – 2 wins
    Trulli – 1 win
    The rest – zilch.

    Thing is, using this method he’s won (or been part of) 4 drivers titles and 3 constructors titles. Justification?

    1. Still, if you look at the points the other 2nd drivers got, they usually got between 50% and 60% of Alonso’s (or Schumacher’s) points.

      Piquet is nowhere near that.

      Also, look at the situation in 2007. Fisichella was obviously the No 1 driver at the start of the season. When after 6 races it turned out that Kovalainen was better they switched attention.

      So it might be true that the No1 driver gets more attention, that’s only because the no 1 driver is better anyway.

  47. please read ‘the piranha club’, and you’d know Briatore is excellent in politics, and executing what he wants. That guy was never a motorsports man, a manager of cloths company and accidental friend of the owner of the same company. Everyone knows what he said to tv when he got Heikki. He’s bad in F1, a politics, and divisive guy.

  48. That Flavio must be somewhat related with the italian mafia in some way… He’s an ASS!

  49. IMHO a team can treat their drivers however they seem fit to get them further up the ranks, as long as it is within the legal bounds of their contracts.

    If Flavio operates on the old-fashioned theory that ‘whipping the horse’ makes it run faster, then this is part of his ‘well-thought-out’ strategy which may (or may not!) get the team further up the ranks. Driver psychology is always an integral part of the overall strategy of a team.

  50. Some observations.

    1) Never ever partner a world champion in an F1 team while starting career if you wanna become one. [ Except in cases like Hamilton where the team boss himself is looking after your career. In that sense Ron did an excellent JOB ]

    2) Flavio is a better business man than a manager/principle.
    1) Schumacher left him in 1995.
    2) Alonso moved to McLaren without letting him know in 2005 end.
    3) Bad Mouthed / Dropped Trulli 2004
    4) Bad Mouthed Hiekki 2007
    5) Bad Mouthed Nelsinho 2008/2009.
    6) Alonso is still looking to leave him to Ferrari or wherever 2009.

    3) AND to Top it all….If you are starting your career by partnering a World Champion in Flavio’s team. You can close out your F1 career soon !!!!!

    Again if Schumacher was disgraced for passing Barichello in 2002. Why is not the same talked about Hakkinen passing coulthard in 1998 Austalian Season opener GP.


      1. Because that was due to an agreement made with both drivers. It’s still ridiculous, but they made the deal that whoever came first after the first corner would be allowed to win.

        BTW which driver really lost their career due to Briatore. Fisichella? Trulli? Heiki? Herbert? Oviously not.

        Maybe Verstappen, but he also really had himself to blame ending up in the gravel as often as he did. The final straw was when he put Schumacher’s car in the gravel during qualifying.

        Same with Piquet, you can’t really blame Briatore for Piquet’s utter failure. At worst you can blame him for hiring him and even more for giving Piquet a second chance.

  51. what a cry baby.

  52. Stephen Luick
    4th August 2009, 23:33

    Here’s an idea…Piquet for Kovalinen, Renault/McLaren. Any takers on that? It seems to me though that the situation at Renault is more due to the fact that Flav is doing anything at all costs to keep Alonso happy, and Piquet is suffering the consequences.

    On the talent side of things, what could have Piquet done at either McLaren, Ferrari, or Brawn? Could he have lifted the McLarens or Ferraris off the bottom of the table? The lack of quality equipment for him seems to be the main issue. He ought to try IndyCar over here with a decent team, Ganassi for example. I wonder what he could do.

    1. By his own words he had inferior equipment to Alonso in only 4 races (out of 27). So how is his main problem a lack of quality equipment?

      The main problem for Piquet is that he’s unable to cope in F1.

      He should try something else. Indeed like IndyCar.

  53. Who’s next on the march…Grosjean ?
    Lets hope it is Flavio.

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