Piquet’s future still in doubt

PiquetBrazilian not out of the woods yet

Nelson Piquet’s future at Renault still hangs in the balance after comments were made by team boss Flavio Briatore that the Brazilian’s charge to fourth place in Fuji does not in itself guarantee him a seat.

The Renault driver has been under pressure to retain his seat throughout most of the season having been consistently out-raced by his double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso.

But solid points-finishes of late, most notably a sterling charge to fourth place in Japan from twelfth on the grid, have improved his chances of staying with the French outfit for next year.

However, Briatore, who was quick to praise Piquet’s performance at the Fuji International Circuit, told Formule 1 Race Report that Renault will be assessing the 23-year-old on his overall performance across the year, not his single successes – which have invariably been inconsistent.

“No, we will decide only at the end of the year what we are going to do,” the Italian said.

“A single race is not really going to change our thoughts. It seems to me only natural that he should be performing.”

Piquet himself meanwhile is gearing up for the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai next week and is intent on improving his approach to qualifying having been consistently compromised on race day as a result of a poor grid slot.

“I think that we are hoping to build on the progress we have made recently and to have a strong race in China,” he said looking ahead to Shanghai.

“I know that to have a good race I must improve my performance in qualifying to be able to reach Q3 so that I can aim for big things in normal race conditions.”

“So I will start with this objective and we will then see what happens in the race, but I’m determined to score points as I know how important that is for the team’s fight for fourth place in the championship.”