Three-time world champion Nelson Piquet Senior has spoken out to defend his son Nelson Piquet Jr. The Renault driver has endured a difficult start to his second season in the sport before an improved performance saw him finish only one place behind team-mate Fernando Alonso in Bahrain.
But team boss Flavio Briatore is suspected of having delivered an ultimatum to the Brazilian after his poor Bahrain qualifying session – to the effect that he must impress in the next few races or so, or he would be summarily sacked. Piquet’s father told German newspaper Auto Motor und Sport that he had talked with the Italian team principal.
“I said to Flavio that he will only get the maximum from Nelson if he gives him cover.
“If the engineers are roaring on the radio that he is driving badly because he lost his first quali lap in traffic, then how can a driver develop confidence?” said Piquet.
The legend went on to say that the team were not giving his son adequate support.
“Too often he has to drive in practice with a lot of fuel in the tank. The team knows that his problems are with lower fuel so they should let him drive more often in qualifying trim,” Piquet Senior said.